Bottas Mercedes factory visit suggests deal is done

A pre-Christmas visit to the Mercedes factory by Valtteri Bottas has given the firmest indication yet that he is set to secure the seat vacated by Nico Rosberg at the German car manufacturer.

Bottas Mercedes factory visit suggests deal is done
Valtteri Bottas, Williams FW38
Valtteri Bottas, Williams
Valtteri Bottas, Williams FW38
Valtteri Bottas, Williams FW38
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid
Pascal Wehrlein, Manor Racing

Sources have revealed that Bottas made a secret visit to Mercedes’ Brackley headquarters in the days leading up to Christmas.

There has been no official confirmation of the news, but it is suggested he tried out the cockpit of the team’s 2017 car to help with planning for his seating position, and ran through initial technical preparations with the engineers that he could be working with next year.

Although it is unclear if a final contract for Bottas to join Mercedes has been signed, the visit does reveal that the outfit is preparing for his arrival.

Mercedes has remained silent about its plans for who will line-up alongside Lewis Hamilton in 2017, but an announcement is expected in the first weeks of January – and potentially as early as next week.

It emerged before Christmas that the final hurdle for Bottas’ switch to Mercedes – which was that Williams was able to find an experienced replacement for him – was cleared when Felipe Massa informed the team he would accept an offer to race on for another season.

Confirmation of Bottas’ plans will likely wait, however, until the futures are totally sorted of those drivers who are impacted by his switch.

That means finalising Massa’s contract, and also putting the finishing touches on a Sauber contract for Pascal Wehrlein.

The young German had been in the frame for the Mercedes seat, but is understood to have lost out because the team felt he did not have enough experience to handle the pressure of a potential title campaign.

shares
comments
Susie Wolff receives MBE in UK New Year Honours list
Previous article

Susie Wolff receives MBE in UK New Year Honours list

Next article

The Big Interview: Giorgio Piola on his F1 career

The Big Interview: Giorgio Piola on his F1 career
Load comments
How getting sacked from Benetton made Mercedes' Allison Prime

How getting sacked from Benetton made Mercedes' Allison

He’s had a hand in world championship-winning Formula 1 cars for Benetton, Renault and Mercedes, and was also a cog in the Schumacher-Ferrari axis. Having recently ‘moved upstairs’ as Mercedes chief technical officer, James Allison tells Stuart Codling about his career path and why being axed by Benetton was one of the best things that ever happened to him.

Formula 1
Nov 28, 2021
The remarkable qualities that propelled Kubica’s F1 comeback Prime

The remarkable qualities that propelled Kubica’s F1 comeback

It’s easy to look at Robert Kubica’s second Formula 1 career and feel a sense of sadness that he didn’t reach the heights for which he seemed destined. But as Ben Anderson discovered, performance and results are almost meaningless in this context – something more fundamental and incredible happened…

Formula 1
Nov 27, 2021
The humbling changes Ricciardo made to deliver for McLaren Prime

The humbling changes Ricciardo made to deliver for McLaren

From being lapped by his own teammate in Monaco to winning at Monza, it’s been a tumultuous first season at McLaren for Daniel Ricciardo. But, as he tells STUART CODLING, there’s more to the story of his turnaround than having a lovely summer holiday during Formula 1's summer break...

Formula 1
Nov 26, 2021
The potential benefits of losing the F1 constructors' title Prime

The potential benefits of losing the F1 constructors' title

As the battle continues to rage over the F1 2021 drivers' championship, teams up and down the grid are turning their attentions to the prize money attributed to each position in the constructors' standings. But F1's sliding scale rules governing wind tunnel and CFD use will soften the blow for those who miss out on the top places

Formula 1
Nov 25, 2021
The invisible enemy that's made Hamilton's title charge tougher Prime

The invisible enemy that's made Hamilton's title charge tougher

After winning his past few Formula 1 titles as a canter, Lewis Hamilton currently trails Max Verstappen by eight points heading into the final double-header of 2021. Although Red Bull has been his biggest on-track challenge, Hamilton feels that he has just as much to grapple with away from the circuit

Formula 1
Nov 24, 2021
Why F1's inconvenient penalties have to stay Prime

Why F1's inconvenient penalties have to stay

OPINION: Quibbles over the length of time taken by Formula 1's stewards over decisions are entirely valid. But however inconvenient it is, there can be no questioning the importance of having clearly defined rules that everyone understands and can stick to. Recent events have shown that ambiguity could have big consequences

Formula 1
Nov 23, 2021
The mistakes Red Bull cannot afford to repeat in F1 2021's title fight climax Prime

The mistakes Red Bull cannot afford to repeat in F1 2021's title fight climax

OPINION: Red Bull has had Formula 1’s fastest package for most of 2021, but in several of the title run-in events it has wasted the RB16B’s potential. It cannot afford to do so again with Lewis Hamilton motoring back towards Max Verstappen in the drivers’ standings with two rounds remaining

Formula 1
Nov 23, 2021
Qatar Grand Prix driver ratings Prime

Qatar Grand Prix driver ratings

Qatar was a virtual unknown for most as Formula 1 made its inaugural visit to the Gulf state, and tyre management quickly emerged as an even more critical factor than normal. Perhaps then it should come as no surprise that two of the championship's elder statesmen produced standout drives

Formula 1
Nov 22, 2021