Valtteri Bottas Signs With Mercedes; Felipe Massa Officially Un-Retires

Mon, Jan 16, 2017 1,492

All the pieces have fallen into line for Mercedes-AMG Petronas.

The team announced Monday it has signed 27-year-old Valtteri Bottas for the 2017 Formula 1 season. Mercedes’ announcement comes on the same day it confirmed Pascal Wehrlein will replace Felipe Nasr at Sauber, and reigning world champion Nico Rosberg will act as a brand ambassador for the team moving forward.

“Valtteri is a no-nonsense guy: down to earth, straightforward and very focused. Pretty Finnish, to be honest, and a great fit for us,” Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff said in a statement. “He has an impressive track record in the junior categories and nine podiums in F1. But now it’s time for the next level, to see how he can step up to challenge for race wins and for championships. We know that we are already behind the curve in terms of preparations for the new season, so we’ve got a busy program to get him integrated into the team. One thing is for sure: as I know Valtteri, he will give it everything.”

After inking his deal with the Silver Arrows, Bottas spoke to the team’s staff at its factory in Brackley, U.K.

“It’s very exciting times for me,” Bottas said. “I think it’s going to take a while to understand that this is really happening. It’s definitely another dream come true, to race in another team with such great history — especially in the recent years, which have been so impressive. I’m really proud to become a part of that and grateful to everyone at Mercedes for trusting my skills and giving me this opportunity.”

After Mercedes confirmed Bottas’ would partner with Lewis Hamilton in 2017, Williams Martini Racing confirmed Felipe Massa would come out of retirement to rejoin the team on a one-year contract.

In his four seasons in F1, Bottas has made 77 race starts and landed on the podium nine times.

Thumbnail photo via Mercedes-AMG Petronas