Mercedes' factory Formula 1 team has confirmed the replacement for world champion Nico Rosberg. Appearing at the factory along with team boss Toto Wolff, Valtteri Bottas signed the agreement to race alongside Lewis Hamilton to challenge the 2017 F1 World Championship.
Bottas has promised to push new teammate Hamilton as hard as possible for the championship in the 2017 season. He said that Hamilton and he will be close and both will push each other forward.
The 27-year old Formula 1 driver is yet to win a Grand Prix in four years at Williams but has appeared on the podium nine times.
Wolff who has been guiding Bottas in his Formula 1 career and has close ties with Mercedes-powered Williams as a former shareholder said Bottas would fit in well in the team.
He said that Bottas is a very fast driver and he shows their values and he is modest, humble and hard-working. Wolff has been unexpectedly busy following Rosberg's sudden decision to retire from Formula 1 racing after winning his first championship.
Mercedes have been dominant for the last three years in Formula 1, winning both the drivers and the constructors' championships. They will start as favouritesin 2017 again despite major aerodynamics rule changes.
Wolff further said now it's the time for the next level, to see how he can step up to challenge for race wins and for championships. While Hamilton is touted to take the championship this year adding his fourth title, Bottas is a genuine contender as well.
Wolff commented saying that they are already behind the curve in terms of preparations for the new season, so they have got a busy programme to get Bottas integrated into the team. One thing is sure that, knowing Bottas he will give it everything.
This will be thefirst time Mercedes will not have a German driver in their line-up since the German carmaker bought the former Brawn GP team at the end of 2009 and returned as a constructor.
At the start, Rosberg was partnered by seven-times world champion Michael Schumacher until Hamilton arrived in 2013.
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