Tuesday, February 21, 2017

F1: Mercedes confirms Valtteri Bottas as Nico Rosberg"s replacement

Valtteri Bottas (left) and Nico Rosberg. Pic/getty Images
Valtteri Bottas (left) and Nico Rosberg. Pic/getty Images

Valtteri Bottas will replace retired world champion Nico Rosberg at Mercedes this year, the German squad announced on Monday.

The Finn, who raced for Williams last year, moves up to the seat alongside triple champion Lewis Hamilton for the 2017 season, according to a statement from Mercedes, with no additional detail on the length of the 27-year-old’s deal.

Perfect fit
“I think Valtteri fits extremely well to our team,” said team boss Toto Wolff addressing Mercedes employees alongside Bottas at the team’s Brackley headquarters at an event that was streamed live. “As a driver he’s very fast. He shares our values, passion, and he’s modest, humble and hard-working. We are extremely happy to have him onboard,” said Wolff.

Felipe Massa, meanwhile, has called off his retirement. The Brazilian will return to Williams on a one-year deal as a replacement for his former teammate, assuring the Grove-based squad of an experienced driver to work alongside 18-year-old Lance Stroll who is set to make his debut this season.

Massa’s return was crucial to Williams agreeing to let Bottas go. Rosberg shocked the F1 world last month by announcing his retirement just days after clinching a maiden world championship title. That left Mercedes casting about for a last-minute replacement with the German Pascal Wehrlein and Bottas emerging as the main contenders.

Wehrlein, 2,2 was confirmed at Sauber yesterday, clearing the way for the more experienced Bottas to be announced as Rosberg’s replacement.

Bottas elated
“For me I’ve been dreaming a long time to drive for a team like this, a team of champions. So, really proud to be a part of this,” said Bottas.

“It’s going to be my fifth season in F1… still missing my first win, so that’s the first mission and we go from there,” Bottas added.

Previous Post
Next Post

post written by: