Mercedes have announced that Valterri Bottas will replace Nico Rosberg, who retired at the end of the 2016 season after being crowned world champion.
Bottas, who joins the team from Williams, said “It’s been an amazing day for me, did the contract today and I’ve been dreaming for a long time to drive for a team like this, a team of champions. I think me and Lewis will be a strong pairing together. I really respect him as a driver and as a person, everyone knows how quick he is, so he is a great preference for me, and I’m sure we’re going to be close.”
Rosberg will take up an ambassadorial role within the team, which his first duty this week when he will attend an event in Geneva alongside Lewis Hamilton.
The news comes not long after Williams confirmed that Felipe Massa will be staying on, even though he announced his retirement last season. The team stress however that he will be on a one year contract alongside Lance Stroll.
Meanwhile Sauber also confirmed Pascal Wehrlein would be joining them, after speculation over the German’s future was ripe amid the Mercedes drive rumours and Manor going into administration.
The reason for Mercedes going for Bottas rather than him is mainly down to team boss Toto Wolff not feeling as though he was ready for the step up, despite impressing in his rookie season. He will partner Marcus Ericsson in a car that will run 2016 Ferrari engines, instead of the updates spec throughout 2017.