The Mercedes-AMG F1 team has confirmed that Valtteri Bottas will partner Lewis Hamilton for its 2017 championship campaign.
The 27-year-old Finn fills in the space left by Nico Rosberg, who retired after winning his first title in 2016, and the departure of Williams after five seasons where he earned nine podium finishes but no wins.
“It’s going to be mega to drive a Silver Arrow,” said Bottas at the announcement of Mercedes’ factory in Brackley. “I am ready to work as long as necessary to get everything out of the car. I still miss my first victory, so this will be my first mission.”
Bottas joins F1’s current Constructors ‘ Championship winning team after he won his third consecutive title. In spite of the long list of changes to the regulation, to 2017, the German company and a UK-based outfit is still the firm favourite for the title. It will reveal its new F1 W08 Hybrid race car, on the 23rd of February.
“With Lewis we will be a strong pairing,” said Bottas. “I am sure that we will be very close and push each other forward. I am sure that we can work together and have a good racing experience on flat and just together.”
Bottas’ seat vacant at Williams will be filled by Felipe Massa. The Brazilian retired after his 250th race at the end of last year, but Williams convinced him to return for 2017 following Bottas’s unexpected departure. He will race alongside the 18-year-old Canadian rookie Lance Stroll.
Mercedes executive technical director Paddy Lowe has left the team recently and is widely rumored to be heading to Williams, where he started his F1 career 30 years ago.
2018 Mercedes-AMG Project of A hypercar to be unveiled at the Frankfurt motor show