Berlin - Valtteri
Bottas was on Monday named as Lewis Hamilton's new teammate at
Mercedes, the Finn replacing retired world champion Nico Rosberg after
being freed to join the Formula One giants by Williams.
27-year-old Finn's well-touted move to the all-conquering German
constructor was facilitated by Williams persuading Felipe Massa to come
out of retirement to race for them in 2017.
Mercedes were left scrambling round for a second driver when Rosberg
dramatically retired from the sport in December just days following his
drivers' title triumph.
While Rosberg and Hamilton were arch-rivals, Bottas said at Mercedes team headquarters that he wanted a good relationship.
"I am sure we are going to be very close," he said.
"I am sure we are going to work as a team."
before Mercedes' confirmation Williams' deputy team principal Claire
Williams had described Bottas, who has nine top three finishes to his
name, as "a huge talent".
"I would like to take this opportunity
to thank him on behalf of the whole team, and wish him a successful
season as he joins Mercedes," she said.
Massa, who has raced for Williams since 2014, will be joined in 2017 by Canadian teenage rookie Lance Stroll.
Bottas, this represents the ideal outcome as he moves over to a
Mercedes team that has proved unbeatable in recent seasons, with
Rosberg's maiden world championship following Hamilton's title successes
in 2014 and 2015.
While Rosberg stunned F1 by turning his back on
the sport, Massa was executing a u-turn after the 35-year-old had
called time on his long career after the season-closing 2016 grand prix
in Abu Dhabi in November.
"I'm delighted that Felipe has agreed to come out of retirement to be a part of our 2017 campaign," said Williams.
thrilled to be back in the F1 mix for another year, said of Bottas'
move to Mercedes: "Valtteri has a great opportunity, given the turn of
events over the winter, and I wish him all the best at Mercedes."