Heikki Kovalainen made bid to replace Valtteri Bottas

Doyle BarkerJan 19, 2017

Mercedes could dispense with the services of Valtteri Bottas in 2018 given the "dynamic" driver market in Formula One, says Toto Wolff.

The news of Rosberg's replacement comes just 45 days after he announced his shock retirement, and just 70 days until the start of the 2017 season in Australia. He had a bit of an underwhelming season past year, and while this was arguably true of Bottas as well, the latter's experience in F1 probably gave him an edge in Mercedes' selection process.

Curiously however, the world champions failed to disclose the length of Bottas' contract, though it is thought that the 27-year-old has penned a one-year deal with further options.

Instead, Williams chose to call Felipe Massa out of retirement to partner Lance Stroll as they didn't want two young drivers in their cars.

Hamilton won 10 of the 21 races past year but was beaten overall by Rosberg, the rival he has measured himself against since they were boyhood team mates in karting and who won nine races.

"I'm happy that they found a great solution quite quickly, that's awesome".

"I'm going to be watching TV and I'm looking forward to seeing how Valtteri gets on, especially against Lewis because he is an awesome reference point".

"It's not going to be easy for sure, so it's going to be interesting to follow".

"I am sure as a pair we can work well, I'm sure we can be good team players together".

"Yes, I sent Claire an email", the 35-year-old told the Finnish broadcaster MTV. "I certainly have not lost any of my enthusiasm for racing and I'm extremely motivated to be coming back to drive the FW40". "Probably many other drivers had sent the same message".

"I guarantee I will be giving it all", added the Monaco-based Bottas who switches stables after four seasons with Williams and 77 starts and an eighth place finish in the 2016 drivers' championship. "It was OK already between Nico and Lewis but there was the luggage of the past.(now) it is a completely new relationship and there is no animosity from the past".

"In the last three years we won everything there was to win and this is why we chose to go with Bottas, as he brings experience and speed to the team".

"Both drivers can push as hard as they want, as always", continued the Austrian.

Mercedes have dominated the sport since 2014 and, despite a number of changes to the technical regulations, are set to remain the team to beat when the new season gets under way in Melbourne on March 26.

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