Dieter Zetsche, Chairman of Daimler, has spoken of how delighted he and the Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team are with the performance of both Lewis Hamilton and particularly Valtteri Bottas in 2017.
Bottas was a last minute call-up to Mercedes following the shock retirement of 2016 world champion Nico Rosberg, but the Finn impressed many by winning two races in the first half of the 2017 season.
His form slumped somewhat following the summer break and the announcement that he would be kept on as a Mercedes driver for another year but he found form in the closing stages of the season, taking back-to-back pole positions and a dominant victory in the season ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
Despite Bottas’s mid-season slump, Zetsche doesn’t see any weaknesses in the team’s current driver line-up.
“We have proved that we can handle two strong drivers and provide entertainment on the TV screens,” Zetsche told German broadcaster Sky.
“We won all that we could win this year, so I’m extremely satisfied with the drivers,” he added.
“We won the constructors’ championship, and that’s only possible with two really strong drivers.
“Whether there’s one or two tenths between them or one has more poles than the other, in the end that is the details.”.
Zetsche’s positive words will no doubt give Bottas a boost going into 2018 where the Finn will want to go at least one better in the drivers’ world championship having finished third in 2017 behind his champion team-mate Hamilton and Scuderia Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel.