Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 team has already found a racer who will be filling in the vacancy left by retirement of 2016 F1 World Champion Nico Rosberg – Valtteri Bottas.
Bottas will be joining the team alongside Lewis Hamilton for the 2017 season. Bottas’ entry to the Silver Arrows was announced at the team’s Brackley-based headquarters. The Finnish driver has made his move from Williams Racing F1 team, which has brought Felipe Massa back from retirement to take the driver’s seat. Bottas will be racing the soon-to-be-revealed W08 Silver Arrows F1 race car and is the second teammate to work with Hamilton at Mercedes-AMG F1.
Bottas said that he has been dreaming to drive for a team like this – a team of champions – and that he is proud to be part of this and proud of what you’ve achieved in the last few years.
“I can’t wait to start working properly. There is still enough time until testing to get everything sorted. My goal for the first race is to get all the points available that there’s absolutely possible in the car. I’m still missing my first win, so that’s the first mission”, he added.
Bottas has been racing with Williams Racing F1 since 2010 and managed to secure nine podium finishes over the years. A win, however, has been eluded him over the years and this is likely to change when he gets behind the wheel of one of the fastest cars on the grid.
Speaking about his partnership with Lewis Hamilton, Bottas said, “We can be a strong pair together. I really respect him as a driver and a person. He’s so quick, he’s a great reference for me. I’m sure we are going to be close and pushing each other forward.”
Adding further, he said, “But the main thing is I’m sure we’re going to work as a team, working together to help the team as much as we can and having a good spirit.”
Bottas will officially make his debut with Mercedes when testing commences at Barcelona in February 2017. He will be seen in the Mercedes colours on 23rd February though when the team unveils the 2017 W08 race car.