Valtteri Bottas
Valtteri Bottas joined Mercedes in January 2017 following Nico Rosberg's shock retirementMark Thompson/Getty Images

With Nico Rosberg having sensationally quit Formula One just five days following his maiden title success, stunned reigning constructors' champions Mercedes quickly identified highly-rated Williams star Valtteri Bottas as an ideal new teammate/adversary for their relentlessly competitive three-time world champion Lewis Hamilton.

Here is everything you need to know about the fast and committed driver following in the footsteps of Keke Rosberg, childhood hero Mika Hakkinen, and Kimi Raikkonen as F1's latest celebrated Flying Finn.

Who is Valtteri Bottas?

Hailing from the small southern Finnish town of Nastola, Bottas discovered go karting by chance during a childhood trip to the neighbouring city of Lahti.

Transfixed, he began racing as a six-year-old and, supported by father and mechanic Rauno, went on to amass a wealth of domestic and European championships.

A particular turning point for Bottas came after his first season in Finland's official karting championship when, having become accustomed to tasting victory throughout the previous six years, he found the going much tougher and only managed to finish fifth overall.

However, he wisely decided to double down on his ambitions and take a more professional approach to racing by losing weight and building fitness. Such a change served not only to help achieve further success, but also to convince a 12-year-old Bottas that racing was not only an enjoyable hobby but a realistic profession in which he could thrive.

Graduating from karting in 2007, he later impressed in Formula Renault 2.0 and Formula Three Euro Series before combining his role as a fledgling test driver for Williams with a GP3 Series triumph.

That F1 ambition was finally realised in 2012, when, after some eye-catching performances in 15 Friday practice sessions as a reserve driver, Bottas succeeded Bruno Senna - nephew of the legendary Ayrton - as Pastor Maldonado's new partner.

There were significant expectations attached from the outset, with founder and team principal Sir Frank Williams describing him as "simply one of the most talented young racing drivers I have come across".

Career highlights

  • Wins Formula Renault Eurocup and Northern European Cup in 2008
  • Appointed as Williams test driver in 2010 after Nico Hulkenberg is promoted to a race seat
  • Wins prestigious Masters of Formula 3 race in Zandvoort for the second consecutive year in 2010
  • Wins GP3 Series title for Lotus ART in 2011
  • Named as test driver for Williams in December 2011
  • Confirmed as Bruno Senna's replacement at Williams in November 2012
  • Qualifies third in only his seventh career grand prix in Canada in June 2013
Valtteri Bottas
Bottas behind the wheel of the Mercedes W08 in MontmeloJOSE JORDAN/AFP/Getty Images
  • Scores his first F1 points during the penultimate race of the 2013 season in Austin
  • Records six podium finishes in 2014 during a breakthrough campaign en route to finishing fourth behind Hamilton, Rosberg and Daniel Ricciardo in the driver standings. His first ever podium success came with a third-place finish at that year's Austrian Grand Prix. He finished second in both Britain and Germany.
  • Finishes fifth in 2015 following two more podium finishes in Canada and Mexico.
  • Signs one-year deal to join Mercedes as Rosberg's replacement in January 2017 after finishing eighth in his final season at Williams.

Who is his manager?

Bottas' high-profile management team previously consisted of Toto Wolff, two-time world champion Hakkinen and Didier Coton.

However, the Mercedes chief ended that association in January and stated that "it would be a conflict of interest to be involved in the management of a driver and equally being his boss and running the team".

How much are Mercedes paying him?

Initial reports suggested that, by swapping Williams for the dominant Silver Arrows, Bottas stood to see his annual wage rise from €3m (£2.5m) to €8m (£6.9m. He dismissed such suggestions as mere speculation.

"I don't know where those numbers come from and I don't like talking about it," he said. "It's not public information, though. It is just the usual speculation."

Toto Wolff
Toto Wolff is no longer a member of Bottas' management teamMark Thompson/Getty Images

How tall is he?

Bottas, a typically cool Nordic customer, is listed at 1.73m tall. For those of you who like your measurements to be imperial, that is approximately 5'6".

Who is his wife?

Bottas wed long-term girlfriend Emilia Pikkarainen in Helsinki in 2016. A sport star in her own right, Emilia is a swimmer who has represented Finland at three successive Olympic Games in Beijing, London and Rio de Janeiro.

She holds four national records and won bronze in the women's 4x100m medley relay race at the 2016 European Aquatics Championships. Her medal cabinet also includes 4x50m freestyle bronze and silver earned at the European Short Course Swimming Championships in 2010 and 2012.