The news that Valtteri Bottas had signed for Mercedes was no real surprise to anyone in the Formula One world, however his move from the Williams F1 squad was only one piece of a very complex puzzle that took many weeks to complete.
Not only was Valtteri confirmed at Mercedes on Monday, but Mercedes young driver, Pascal Wehrlein was confirmed to race for Sauber this season and Felipe Massa will return to Williams, putting the final pieces of the puzzle into place for 2017, something that was only possible thanks to positive working relationships between all the teams involved in a complex chain of negotiations.
"On behalf of Mercedes, I must thank Williams for their cooperation in allowing Valtteri to make this move - and also Monisha and Sauber for their patience during the past weeks," said Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff. "I am pleased to know that Pascal will be racing at Sauber to continue his development in F1. "
"He had a good first season with Manor and we feel this is the right path for him in the sport. It's satisfying to have both of our Young Drivers taking on new challenges in F1 this year, with Esteban also racing at Force India. We'll be following their progress closely; I'm sure we've got an exciting season ahead of us."
From Valtteri, too, there were warm words for his friends and colleagues at Williams…
"I had a great seven years there, starting as a test driver in 2010. I'm very proud of what we achieved together and I leave with some very good memories. My debut in F1, my first points and nine podiums all came with the guys and girls at Grove, so I must say a big thanks to everyone and I wish them all the very best for the future."