Valtteri Bottas on Monday was named as Lewis Hamilton’s new teammate at Mercedes, the Finn replacing retired world champion Nico Rosberg after being freed to join the Formula One giants by Williams.
The 27-year-old Finn’s well-touted move to the all-conquering German constructor was facilitated by Williams persuading Felipe Massa to come out of retirement to race for them in 2017.
The Stuttgart-based Mercedes were left scrambling round for a second driver when Rosberg dramatically retired from the sport in December just days following his drivers’ title triumph.
While Rosberg and Hamilton were arch-rivals, Bottas said at Mercedes team headquarters that he wanted a good relationship. “I am sure we are going to be very close,” he said. “I am sure we are going to work as a team.” Minutes before Mercedes’ confirmation Williams’ deputy team principal Claire Williams had described Bottas, who has nine top three finishes to his name, as “a huge talent”.
“I would like to take this opportunity to thank him on behalf of the whole team, and wish him a successful season as he joins Mercedes,” she said.