On Monday, it was announced that Valtteri Bottas was moving from Williams to Mercedes replacing Nico Rosberg. Bottas seems the best person to replace Rosberg as he can race well and able to punch above his car potential we seen that in the Williams.
Bottas is an experienced driver and we see him fight with the Mercedes and pull of great moves to hold position on track. He knows that this year for him is make or break, as we know he is on a one year deal ‘with options’, which is bound to put the pressure on him.
Bottas and his new team-mate Lewis Hamilton have rarely been beaten in the championship by their team-mates. Bottas will I think be able to push Hamilton like Rosberg on track, he is lacking a race win which I feel he will need and want should Mercedes give him the car.
We know that ‘the free to race policy’ is likely to remain; this will create some tension between the two. Bottas doesn’t have that experience yet of being in a race winning and championship winning car, the question is how can he respond to the new challenges?
Bottas has been a great driver, we seen in the past the Anglo-Finnish partnership has been good with David Coulthard and Mika Hakkinen. We need to hope we can get that rivalry in a good way, while Mercedes have dominated the sport in recent years, its not going to be easy.
Both Hamilton and Bottas have worked with Mercedes through-out their careers in Formula One. This means they have a great understanding of the way the Mercedes power unit and team operate in terms of power units. But, Bottas will need to learn how the car works!
Bottas is a safe pair of hands; Mercedes have seen his performance in the Williams and know what he can deliver. Bottas can and has proven he can get podiums in a strong midfield car, so it’s hard to imagine if as we expect Mercedes to be strong, him not to be able to win.
I think if that win is to come this season and baring technical problems for Hamilton (gulp), that win will come in June / July. I say based on how long it took Hamilton to win when he made his debuts for McLaren and Mercedes.
However, I believe realistically that this season unless Mercedes are dominate and well ahead of the rest, its will be just too much to beat Hamilton to the title. But if 2016 taught us anything, with Brexit, Trump and Rosberg anything can happen!
Also remember (I know I use this a lot, but I love this quote) “anything can happen in Grand Prix racing… and it usually does!” Bottas this season either emerges as a great challenge for championships, a great winner or just not good enough.
This is for Bottas and every driver this is his silver opportunity (pun intended) to prove to everyone what he can do in a works team. Fresh blood is great, how will his relationship with Hamilton work and can they both A) give us brilliant racing? B) give Mercedes a fifth successive championship? And C) build a great working partnership?