Mercedes, in a widely anticipated maneuver, has settled on Valtteri Bottas to take the F1 seat vacated by Nico Rosberg, who surprised Germany’s leading producer of racing cars and luxury sedans by retiring after winning the F1 Championship last season.
Asked about his ability to play nicely with Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton, Bottas was heard to say that he did not anticipate any issues with Hamilton, although given the egos often evident in race car drivers, it is equally, perhaps more likely, that the two will clash at some point during the season.
This past season, Hamilton, winner of 10 races in the 21-race 2016 season, and Rosberg, saw their relationship move from cordial to glacial over the course of the season.
Bottas will be the second Finnish driver to team with Hamilton, the first being during his tenure with Team McLaren, where he was paired with Heikki Kovalainen.
True, in the F1 game, the term teammate carries little meaning, as drivers seldom do more than provide token assistance to the other, and that grudgingly at best, but the calm and cooperative nature of Bottas, as observed during his time with Williams racing, might be the perfect complement to Hamilton’s propensity to whine louder than a set of underinflated tyres on a tight F1 course.