Mercedes announce Valtteri Bottas as Rosberg's replacement

​Mercedes ​have formally announced that ​Valtteri Bottas ​will join the team for the 2017 season onwards, taking over the seat vacanted by the surprise retirement of Formula One World Champion Nico Rosberg.

​Bottas quickly emerged as the favourite to replace Rosberg, with team boss Toto Wolff​ believing that the Finn was a better option as opposed to Mercedes junior driver, Pascal Wehrlein, who has been placed by the German manufacturer at the Sauber team for 2017.

Negtionations between Wolff and the Williams team were ongoing throughout December and January, with Claire Williams determined to get the best deal for her team, minimising the blow of losing a solid points scorer in the process.

Exciting times

Bottas was announced as Rosberg's replacement in an unveiling at the team's Brackley base and admitted afterwards: "I think it's going to take a while to understand that this is really happening.

The Finn added:"I'm really proud to become a part of that - "racing in another team with such great history" before saying, "I'm grateful to everyone at Mercedes for trusting my skills and giving me this opportunity."

2017 will be Bottas's fifth season in Formula 1. During his time, he has proved himself a capable points scorer and has hauled nine podium finishes so far, with a best result of second.

The move of Bottas to Mercedes means that Felipe Massa will come out of retirement to replace his former team-mate, without actually having missed a Grand Prix. The Brazilian has signed a one-year deal, with the main reason for his return being that Williams require a driver over the age of 25 to attend sponsor events for main backer, Martini. Their other driver, Lance Stroll, is just 18 years old.

Ambassador Rosberg

Meanwhile, Rosberg's activities as a retired World Champion have become slightly clearer, as Mercedes also announced on Monday that the 31-year-old will take up an ambassadorial role with the team.

Since his bombshell announcement at the beginning of December, Rosberg has stayed out of the public eye, prefering to spend time with his family, but will begin his ambassador role in Geneva on Tuesday alongside Lewis Hamilton.

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