Valtteri Bottas looking forward to working with Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes

Finnish driver Valtteri Bottas will replace retired Formula One world champion Nico Rosberg at Mercedes this season, his Williams team announced on Monday.

For 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.

"I'm sure he's going to do a really, really good job and he'll blend in well". Even drivers of young quality, such as Pascal Wehrlein and Esteban Ocon found other teams, so only Bottas seemed to be the only one that could make a decent deal, with some strings attached.

Bottas was named as Lewis Hamilton's new teammate at Mercedes, the Finn replacing retired world champion Nico Rosberg. This never has changed at Mercedes and it won't change in the future. As for Rosberg, he will be an ambassador for the Silver Arrows. Hamilton has three championships and, statistically at least, is the second most successful driver in the sport's history with 53 career wins.

Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff has had a long-standing involvement in Bottas's management, although he said that will now end, and was a former shareholder in Mercedes-powered Williams. "Nico's decision in December was a big surprise - certainly a challenging situation for the team to handle".

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"Lewis is probably the best driver in the world at the moment and if he gets it together on a weekend he is, in my opinion, nearly unbeatable, but Valtteri has all the ingredients. I see no issues at all between us".

Bottas joins Mercedes with just nine podium finishes under his belt and is yet to record a victory.

"I think you need to have a good dynamic in the team, and if the characters are different like Valtteri and Lewis I think that works well".

"I think it's going to take a while to understand that this is really happening". As a Finn he is nearly shy, timid, and I think as a team you need to have the best of both worlds. "We want to win so we will go flat out", Bottas said.

Mark Gero has written formula one racing stories since 2002 on the Internet for such sites as Motorsport.com, Racing Information Service News and for a brief time at the Munich Eye newspaper in Munich, Germany along with Autoweek online.

  • Tabitha Byrd