Mercedes F1 recruit Bottas a 'like-for-like' Rosberg replacement

Mercedes Formula 1 boss Toto Wolff views Valtteri Bottas as a like-for-like replacement for Nico Rosberg, which he believes will help the dynamic with Lewis Hamilton

Mercedes F1 recruit Bottas a 'like-for-like' Rosberg replacement

Following F1 world champion Rosberg's shock retirement in December, Mercedes signed Bottas from Williams last month to partner Hamilton.

Bottas started 77 grands prix for Williams since 2013, recording nine podium finishes but no victories, and steps in for Rosberg who finished runner-up to Hamilton in the championship twice before his '16 triumph.

The Finn has already spent time at Mercedes' factory, and Wolff - previously part of Bottas's management team - believes he will slot in neatly alongside Hamilton.

"The balance between Valtteri and Lewis works," said Wolff.

"They are two very different personalities and for us it was important to fill Nico's shoes.

"Nico had a certain role in the team and Valtteri pretty much fits into that.

"We believe the interaction and dynamics between the two drivers is going to work well.

"So far, what I have seen, Valtteri has settled in well."

Bottas has joined Mercedes on a one-year deal with further options, a situation classed as "difficult" as F1's dominant force looks to keep its options open for 2018.

The 27-year-old was part of the framework at Williams for three years before making his race debut, and Claire Williams says the team will follow his progress alongside Hamilton keenly.

"Valtteri is someone who has long been talked about as a future world champion in F1," said Williams at the recent SPOBIS summit in Germany.

"It will be interesting to see how he fares.

"If these new regulations shake the order up, we don't know if Mercedes will remain in their dominant position or not.

"I'm sure they probably will and they will definitely be up there fighting.

"We've nurtured Valtteri's talent throughout his whole time in F1.

"He joined the sport with Williams and for us, we've always just wanted to give him a car that he could show that talent in.

"Now he has that going forward so I'm very happy for him."

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