Motor racing-Hamilton opens contract talks and keen for Bottas to stay

Formula One F1 - Steiermark Grand Prix - Red Bull Ring, Spielberg, Austria - June 24, 2021 Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton during the press conference Pool via REUTERS/Christian Bruna

(Reuters) - Seven times Formula One world champion Lewis Hamilton said on Thursday he had opened contract renewal talks with Mercedes and gave a ringing endorsement of Valtteri Bottas as his team mate.

The 36-year-old Briton and Bottas are out of contract at the end of the season, with Hamilton expected to continue but much speculation about the second seat at the reigning champions.

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