Valtteri Bottas has been confirmed as a Mercedes driver for next season and replaces Nico Rosberg as Lewis Hamilton’s teammate. The Finnish driver will debut for the team in testing at the Circuit de Catalunya next month.
On the move to the Mercedes team, Bottas said,
We did the contract today and obviously I’ve been dreaming for a long time to drive for a team like this, a team of champions.
So I’m really proud to be part of this and proud of what you’ve achieved in the last few years but also in the whole history of Formula 1. It’s mega to be driving a Silver Arrow myself this yearI 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.”
– Valtteri Bottas
The Finn is yet to win in Formula One, but has been Williams’ faster driver in the past few seasons and has picked up nine podiums. In a potential championship-winning car next season, he will surely win races. He replaces last season’s World Champion Nico Rosberg, but that won’t be pressurising as much as being compared to Hamilton across the garage. Bottas is looking forward to the challenge.
“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.
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.”
– Valtteri Bottas
The announcement also confirms Felipe Massa’s swift return to Williams. Massa endured three seasons against Valtteri Bottas as Williams, the Finn scoring more points in each season.