Bottas reveals his joy after he’s named as Rosberg’s successor at Mercedes

Bottas signs his contract
Bottas signs his contract

Valtteri Bottas will team up alongside Lewis Hamilton for the 2017 F1 season after being confirmed as Nico Rosberg’s successor at Mercedes.

The native of Nastola, Finland, has so far completed four seasons in Formula One with Williams, making 77 starts and scoring nine career podiums.

He joins Mercedes as the replacement for world champion Nico Rosberg, who announced his shock retirement after the final race in Abu Dhabi at the end of November.

“Sometimes, unexpected circumstances provide interesting opportunities,” said Mercedes boss Toto Wolff.

“Nico’s decision in December was a big surprise and a challenging situation for the team. But weathering the storm makes you more resilient and we see this as an opportunity for the team to grow.

“Valtteri is a no-nonsense guy, down to earth, straightforward and very focused. He’s a great fit for us.

“He has an impressive track record in the junior categories and nine podiums in F1. But now it’s time for the next level, to see how he can step up to challenge for race wins and for championships.

“We know that we are already behind the curve in terms of preparations for the new season, so we’ve got a busy programme to get him integrated into the team. One thing is for sure, as I know Valtteri, he will give it everything.”

Visiting the team’s Brackley base earlier this week, 27-year-old Bottas commented: “It’s very exciting times for me and I think it’s going to take a while to understand that this is really happening.

“It’s another dream come true – to race in another team with 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.”

On his first few days in the team, he added: “I’ve had a really warm welcome so far. 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.”

“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 but I’m full of energy for this year and hopefully many more to come with Mercedes.”

Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport also confirmed that Nico Rosberg has accepted an ambassadorial role with the team for 2017.