It's been 45 days since Nico Rosberg dropped the bombshell of his immediate retirement from Formula One and it left the Mercedes team with a conundrum: how to best fill the vacant seat alongside three-time champion Lewis Hamilton in order to defend the Constructors' Championship?

Following six weeks of detailed evaluation, deliberation and negotiation, the answer was officially confirmed in the middle of the Australian night on Monday, the championship winning team have signed Valtteri Bottas.

The 27-year-old native of Nastola, Finland has already completed four seasons in Formula One, all with Williams, making 77 starts and scoring 9 career podiums so far.

Valtteri was cautiously optimistic when he met his new team-mates in the factory for the official announcement...

"It's very exciting times for me," he grinned. "I think it's going to take a while to understand that this is really happening. It's definitely another dream come true, to race in another team with such great history - especially in the recent years, which have been so impressive. I'm really proud to become a part of that and grateful to everyone at Mercedes for trusting my skills and giving me this opportunity.”

"I've had a really warm welcome so far. Of course, I have a lot more people to meet and new faces to remember. But initially everything has felt very good. I'm really impressed with the facilities and I'm looking forward to getting to know everyone better.”

“My first experience with Mercedes power was in F3 back in 2009 and, of course, I know the Power Unit well from the last three years with Williams. But there are a lot of new things to learn with the car and also with how the team operates at the factory, in testing and at the races."

Valtteri is under no illusions about the task ahead…

"I'm ready to work hard, to prove myself to the team and to prove my skills. It's going to be a challenging season and joining a new team makes it more work than normal. But I'm 100% ready for that. I'm training hard to be at my physical best because it will be much tougher with these new cars."

"I always set the bar really high, so my target is to perform from the first race. I'm full of energy and ready to get to work for this year and hopefully many more to come with Mercedes."