After weeks of speculation, Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula 1 (F1) team has officially confirmed the addition of Valtteri Bottas to their 2017 driver lineup. His switch comes after current F1 World Champion and now former Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg announced his retirement just 5 days after winning the title.
The Finnish driver will suit up alongside the 3-time F1 champion Lewis Hamilton. Bottas previously drove for Williams Martini Racing from 2013 to 2016 and managed to seal 9 podium finishes.
2014 marked his most successful year in F1 as he finished 4th in the driver’s standings behind Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes), Nico Rosberg (Mercedes), and Daniel Ricciardo (Red Bull Racing). Moreover, Bottas finished twice in 2nd (British and German Grand Prix) and 4 times in 3rd (Austrian, Belgian, Russian, and Abu Dhabi Grand Prix) in 2014.
During the 2016 season, Bottas experienced a less than stellar year with his 8th place finish in the driver’s standings. He was able to celebrate on the podium just once last season when he crossed the checkered flag in 3rd during the Canadian Grand Prix.
I’m very proud of what we [Williams Martini Racing] achieved together and I leave with some very good memories. My debut in F1, my first points, and nine podiums all came with the guys and girls at Grove, so I must say a big thanks to everyone and I wish them all the very best for the future,” said Bottas.
Celebrations were kept short as the Finnish racer starts his week with technical and physical preparations for the new season. As for the current World Champion Rosberg, he has accepted an ambassadorial role with the team for 2017.