Simply the (fifth) best?
The decision from Mercedes to sign Valtteri Bottas is somewhat underwhelming, given that he was effectively the fifth-choice replacement for the retiring world champion, Nico Rosberg.
I know contracts are binding, but everything and everyone has a price. Maybe Sebastian Vettel and Fernando Alonso are biding their time for 2018, but will they regret not ruthlessly pursuing a drive in a potential world championshipwinning car? Remember the threeway scramble for the Williams drive in 1992-93, with at least one champ offering to drive for free?
Maybe there is a new entente cordiale among the teams not to poach drivers, or maybe Mercedes’ desire to placate Lewis has ultimately driven the decision.
Is it history repeating itself, similar to when McLaren recruited Heikki Kovalainen to replace Alonso back in 2008, or will Bottas turn into the new Mika Häkkinen? Either way, good luck Valtteri – for 2017 and beyond. Michael O’Neil By email
Will Bottas prove to be the next Mika Häkkinen… or a Heikki Kovalainen?