Valtteri Bottas joins Hamilton in 'dream' Mercedes move
- Author: Angelo Rivera Jan 19, 2017,
Jan 19, 2017, 0:42
Finnish driver Valtteri Bottas will replace retired Formula One world champion Nico Rosberg at Mercedes this season, his Williams team announced on Monday.
Cape Town - With reports suggesting that Valtteri Bottas is only on a one-year contract at Mercedes, the Silver Arrows have seemingly left the door open to other drivers in 2018. The 27-year-old Finn has made 77 starts and achieved nine podiums in his career so far, but expect those numbers to rise once the season begins in Melbourne.
Rosberg said: "In terms of Valtteri Bottas, I was informed of the announcement yesterday and I think it is great news for the team". He is so quick, he is a great reference for me. One thing is for sure: "as I know Valtteri, he will give it everything". "It will be interesting to follow".
"I am sure as a pair we can work well, and I'm sure we can be good team players".
"Yes, I sent Claire [Williams] an email", the 35-year-old, who also drove for Renault and Caterham, told Finnish broadcaster MTV.
Hamilton won 10 of the 21 races a year ago but was beaten overall by Rosberg, the rival he has measured himself against since they were boyhood team mates in karting and who won nine races. Rosberg and Hamilton were given freedom to race each other on-track during their battles and the Finn will have a similar licence to challenge the Briton for wins and championships, without fear of there being a hierarchy in the driver line-up. "I certainly have not lost any of my enthusiasm for racing and I'm extremely motivated to be coming back to drive the FW40".
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One driver who must feel some resentment about this outcome is Pascal Wehrlein, the 2015 DTM champion who had been brought to Manor as part of Mercedes' junior driver program.
"They are very different and not in the same way that Nico and Lewis were", Wolff said.
Meanwhile, Mercedes also announced that Rosberg, who walked away from the sport just five days after being crowned world champion, has accepted an ambassadorial role with the team.
"In the last three years we won everything there was to win and this is why we chose to go with Bottas, as he brings experience and speed to the team".
"As always: both drivers can push as much as they want, completely free". It was this deal that cleared the way for Bottas to change to Mercedes.