Earlier this week, Mercedes officially announced their new Formula One driver, and Lewis Hamilton’s new teammate, Valtteri Bottas. The news came as little surprise as Mercedes had been vocal about bringing him on to the team since Nico Rosberg announced his retirement weeks after becoming the 2017 Driver Champion.
Bottas found his way into Formula One after a successful career in Formula Three racing. Finishing in third place in his 2009 and 2010 seasons helped promote himself to race in the much more difficult F1 class. Since his first season racing Formula One in 2013, Bottas had been part of Williams where he managed to score 411 points over 78 races. In 2014, he finished 3rd in the driver standings with 186 points and 6 podium finishes. Since then, however, he had only 3 podium finishes over the course of two seasons.
Interestingly enough, Bottas has yet to win a Grand Prix in Formula One, but racing for the Constructor Champions for the past 3 seasons could prove to finally get him a much deserved win. Mercedes will definitely be looking for a competent driver to fill the void that Rosberg had left, and with due time Bottas could be a long term option.
More than likely, this will cause an initial drop in Mercedes Constructor standings. While it is possible that Bottas could ascertain multiple podium finishes this upcoming season, they probably will not be able to make up the over-700 points the team had accumulated each season since 2014. The gap between the Silver Arrows, Red Bull, and Ferrari should be much closer in 2017, making for a significantly more competitive season.