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Bottas still unsure if he will be a Mercedes driver in 2018


SPA-FRANCORCHAMPS, Belgium (AP) Valtteri Bottas still does not know if he will get a Mercedes contract next season.

The Finnish driver has done well in his first season with Mercedes, winning two races and finishing on the podium in the last five.

But this has not yet been enough to guarantee him a seat for 2018 alongside Lewis Hamilton.

''There's no news yet,'' Bottas said on Thursday at the Belgian Grand Prix. ''We will tell you the news when there is some.''

Bottas left Williams to join Mercedes as an emergency replacement for Nico Rosberg, who retired just days after winning last year's title.

Waiting around for news of his future comes easily to him.

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''It won't be on my mind for sure, so no pressure from there,'' he said. ''I am used to these situations. Already the last few years, it was the same thing: There is no confirmation about next year.''

There have been rumors that Mercedes is lining up Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel for next year. Vettel's contract with Ferrari runs out at the end of this season.

That would potentially give Mercedes a devastating - and explosive - lineup with Vettel driving alongside Hamilton.

Hamilton can't see it happening at all.

''It's highly unlikely he'll be here. I know he doesn't want to be my teammate,'' Hamilton said on Thursday. ''He wouldn't be in the position he's in now, in his team, in terms of how the team operates, if he was here.''

Hamilton sees no reason why Bottas should be replaced, either.

''I don't believe any of the bosses or any individual in the team is unhappy with what is currently in place,'' he said. ''So I find it hard to believe that they would change that.''