Mercedes have announced Valtteri Bottas as Nico Rosberg’s replacement for the 2017 season. Mercedes were left reeling at the end of 2016. Mere days after wrapping up the World Championship in Abu Dhabi, Nico Rosberg announced his intention to leave the sport, meaning Mercedes were left with few options for a replacement.
Having looked to their junior program, as well as at other free agents on the grid, they have managed to secure the services of a driver from customer team Williams. Valtteri Bottas, who was without contract for 2017 with Grove as well as being managed by Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff, will replace Rosberg and join Lewis Hamilton in the W08 this coming year.
“I think it’s going to take a while to understand that this is really happening.” said Bottas of his new deal. “It’s definitely another dream come true, to race in another team with such great history – especially in the recent years, which have been so impressive. I’m really proud to become a part of that and grateful to everyone at Mercedes for trusting my skills and giving me this opportunity.”
“I’ve had a really warm welcome so far. Of course, I have a lot more people to meet and new faces to remember. But initially everything has felt very good. I’m really impressed with the facilities and I’m looking forward to getting to know everyone better. My first experience with Mercedes power was in F3 back in 2009 and, of course, I know the Power Unit well from the last three years with Williams. But there are a lot of new things to learn with the car and also with how the team operates at the factory, in testing and at the races.”
“I’m ready to work hard, to prove myself to the team and to prove my skills. It’s going to be a challenging season and joining a new team makes it more work than normal. But I’m 100% ready for that. I’m training hard to be at my physical best because it will be much tougher with these new cars. I always set the bar really high, so my target is to perform from the first race. I’m full of energy and ready to get to work for this year and hopefully many more to come with Mercedes.”