Bottas replace instead instead the Nico Rosberg in ~ the title-winning team Felipe Massa the end of retirement to sign up with Williams; Pascal Wehrlein join Sauber


Valtteri Bottas has left Williams and will gyeongju alongside Lewis Hamilton in ~ Mercedes. Photograph: Petr David Josek/AP
Valtteri Bottas has left Williams and will race alongside Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes. Photograph: Petr David Josek/AP

Valtteri Bottas will certainly drive together Lewis Hamilton because that Mercedes in the 2017 Formula One championship after ~ leaving Williams, that announced the long-anticipated relocate on Monday. The 27-year-old Finn is stepping into the seat all of sudden vacated by Nico Rosberg as soon as he retired after winning the title last year.

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Bottas will be changed at his former team by Felipe Massa, who has come the end of retirement to go back to Williams to take back his place at quick notice.

Mercedes were recorded by surprise by Rosberg’s notice which, comes at the finish of the season, left the team in a difficult position v almost every one of the current F1 drivers already under contract elsewhere. The Bottas deal would likely have actually been facilitated due to the fact that Mercedes’s head the motorsport, Toto Wolff, is part of the driver’s management group and Williams use Mercedes engines.

The length of his contract has yet to be revealed and, with vehicle drivers such as Fernando Alonso and Sebastian Vettel break up their obligations with McLaren and also Ferrari in ~ the end of this season, that is most likely Mercedes have actually kept their choices open v a one-year deal and the option of extension.

The Finn has undoubted talent but although Wolff has made it clear Hamilton and Bottas will certainly be treated as equates to – together was the instance with Rosberg and also Hamilton – the british driver will certainly be the de facto No1 in the team. This then will be the first time Hamilton has appreciated real seniority over a team-mate in his career, through the exemption of two years together Heikki Kovalainen, having previously to be partnered with Alonso, Jenson Button and Rosberg. However Bottas will certainly be not be straightforward to dominate nor can he be intended to be a pushover top top the track, however.

He opened up his career in karting, before graduating through Formula Renault into Formula Three and then GP3. He winner the title in the latter series in 2012, showing expert teamwork, maturity and also racecraft to develop an initially negative ART auto into a championship-winner and also was check driver because that Williams that year as well before taking a complete drive in 2013. Due to the fact that then he has actually shown substantial promise, outscoring his team-mates in all 4 of his periods with the team.

The 2013 Williams to be uncompetitive however given a auto with genuine pace in 2014, Bottas proved more than qualified of stepping up. Back he has yet to victory a race, the year he scored six of his nine career podiums from 77 starts.

It had a magnificent performance to walk from 14th to second at the British grand Prix, including passing Kevin Magnussen and also Jenson switch round the outside at Stowe corner – moves that forced precision judgement and no absence of trust in his own ability. It to be a season when Claire Williams, the deputy team principal, thought he confirmed potential as a future civilization champion.

He has proved uncompromising as well and is outspoken on team radio as soon as believing the is being held up by slower team-mates. Some job-related is tho to be done, sometimes unforced errors have endangered some of his drives as have moments of frustration and also Hamilton’s better experience in completing at the front offers him a clean advantage across the garage in this regard.

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“I’m prepared to occupational hard, to prove myself to the team and to prove mine skills,” Bottas said. “It’s walking to it is in a daunting season and joining a new team renders it much more work 보다 normal. Yet I’m 100% all set for that. Ns always set the bar yes, really high, so mine target is to execute from the an initial race.”

The team, searching for a fourth constructors championship in a row, will likewise be looking for solid performances from the off. “Valtteri is a no-nonsense guy: down to earth, simple and really focused. Nice Finnish, to it is in honest, and also a great fit because that us,” Wolff said. “Now that time for the next level, to see just how he can step increase to challenge for race wins and also for Championships. We have actually confidence in Valtteri’s capacity and it’s among the reasons that the is the driver we collection our sights on this winter.”

Sauber’s decision on Monday to sign Pascal Wehrlein, the German Mercedes small driver, completes the complete team lineups for the 2017 season. Mercedes also announced the Rosberg has embraced an ambassadorial duty with the team because that 2017.