Any suggestions that Valtteri Bottas would be a one-year stop-gap at Mercedes have been firmly laid to rest with confirmation that the Finn will stay at Brackley in 2018.
With the his immediate future secured, Bottas can now focus on developing his performance behind the wheel. This season has already seen Bottas take two pole positions and two Grand Prix race wins. He's in third place in the drivers championship, and far from out of contention for the title.
Even though he's performed been above all expectations, Bottas is targeting more improvement over the remaining seven races of this season and into 2018. Ultimately, nothing short of a world title will be enough to satisfy the 28-year-old.
"I'm happy to have celebrated my first race wins in a Silver Arrow. However, there's always room for improvement," he said. "I still have not shown my full potential.
"I will continue to work hard on and off the track," he continued. "To further improve my driving, get even better results, and show that [Mercedes] putting their trust in me was the right decision."
Bottas acknowledged the huge help and support he had received from everyone at the team since joining at the start of 2017. He was thrown in at the deep end as a short notice signing for Mercedes following the sudden retirement of Nico Rosberg at the end of last year.
"The welcome and the support from every team member and all the fans has been invaluable," he stated. "As a driver, I've been able to learn and grow massively.
"We have already enjoyed some really good moments this season that I will never forget," he added. "I've been very impressed by the mentality, commitment and the team spirit this team holds."
Many pundits had wondered how Bottas would fare alongside a team mate of Lewis Hamilton's standing. But the Finn had nothing but good words to say about working with the three-time world champion.
"Partnering Lewis has also been really good," he said. "I'm enjoying the respect we have and the will to push this team forward together."
Bottas has said that he doesn't want to be in Hamilton's shadow. He said that he expects to be continued to be allowed to contend for Grand Prix wins, regardless of his team mate's championship fight with Ferraris' Sebastian Vettel.
"If I perform well, if I manage to qualify well, have strong pace, for sure I can still fight for the wins," Bottas insisted.
"But if it is going to be the case that for some reason I'm missing pace - if Lewis is doing a better job, me running in P2, and clearly behind - then it's obviously better to help than try something silly.
"I'm always going to be a team player," he said. "It is up to the team to decide these kind of things, so we'll see.
"We'll go race by race and by every situation. But like I said, it is also a lot up to me. I need to perform if I still want to fight for the title."
— Valtteri Bottas (@ValtteriBottas) September 13, 2017