“No more secrets, I will be driving the Silver Arrow in 2017,” Finn Valtteri Bottas announced on his Facebook profile on Monday.
This is exactly what has been speculated about for a long time.
After German Nico Rosberg announced just days after winning the world title that he was leaving the world of Formula 1 despite a valid contract with Mercedes, the question arose as to who would replace him.
There was a lot of talk at first about Fernando Alonso, but given that he and Lewis Hamilton already shared a garage at McLaren's in the 2007 season and didn't get along very well (the bad relationship with Hamilton was the main reason the Spaniard was already after one season left Mclaren), it was expected that this tandem would not work out.
There was also a lot of speculation about Pascal Wehrlein, a Mercedes protégé who is also a team test and reserve racer. But after the departure of technical director Paddy Low, who is expected to join Williams after compulsory leave, it became clear that Valtteri Bottas will be sitting in the Mercedes.
In the end, however, the experience seems to have weighed in, and on Monday Bottas officially became the new Mercedes racer.
The 27-year-old Finn has signed a one-year contract with the Silver Arrows team and will thus have the opportunity to fight for the title of world champion in the best race car this year.
He will have the opportunity to become the fourth Finnish racer to win the title. Finnish racers are considered to be very reserved, and if Kimi Raikkonen is considered an ice man (nicknamed Iceman), Bottas is considered more open, so he was nicknamed Niceman.
His racing career began in 2005 in karting, in 2010 he became a test racer of the Williams team. 3 years later, in the 2013 season, he got a chance in Formula 1 in the race. He first drew serious attention to himself when he finished third in the qualifiers for the Canadian Grand Prix (2013).
He won his first points at the America’s Grand Prix in Austin with eighth place. Already in his inaugural season, he was better in the overall standings than his teammate at the time, Pastor Maldonado.
The following season (2014), however, he stepped on the winning podium for the first time at the Austrian Grand Prix, finishing third. At the time, he was only behind the Mercedes racers. However, he won the second starting position in the qualifications the day before, which is still his best starting position.
Just under a month later, he won second place at the German Grand Prix, which is his best ranking in the race.
He finished the 2014 season in fourth place overall, also leaving behind world champions Sebastian Vettl and Alonso. Fourth place in the overall standings is still his best ranking, which he can correct this year. Over the next two seasons, he established himself as a very good and constant racer.
Now the only question left is whether he has something more to become a world champion.
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