Valtteri Bottas replaces Rosberg as Hamilton’s new Mercedes teammate

London [UK], Jan. 18 : Valtteri Bottas has replaced Nico Rosberg as Lewis Hamilton's new teammate at Mercedes for the forthcoming Formula One season.

Bottas, who replaces newly world champion Rosberg following his shock decision to retire from the sport, had long been favourite for the vacant seat.

"It's very exciting times for me," quoted Bottas as saying. "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," he added.

Bottas, who made his full Formula One debut for Williams in 2013, is yet to win a race, but has nine podium finishes.

Bottas' place at Williams will be taken by Felipe Massa, who is to come out of retirement to re-join the team on a one-year deal.

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff said, "Sometimes in life, unexpected circumstances provide interesting opportunities." He said that Rosberg's decision in December to retire was a big surprise and was a challenging situation for the team to handle.

"But weathering the storm makes you more resilient and we see this as another opportunity for the team to grow," he said.

"Valtteri is a no-nonsense guy, down to earth, straightforward and very focused. Pretty Finnish, to be honest, and a great fit for u." "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," he added.

Mercedes had been seeking a replacement for Rosberg since the German shocked the sporting world by announcing a sudden retirement from Formula One, barely a week after winning his maiden world championship title.

Source: ANI