After Mercedes boss Toto Wolff says Valtteri Bottas pulled himself out of his mid-season troubles, the Finn ended his maiden Formula 1 campaign with the German manufacturer third in the drivers’ world championship behind team-mate and world champion Lewis Hamilton and Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel.

The Finnish driver became centred in the biggest team switch of last season when Nico Rosberg announced his immediate retirement from F1 just days after wrapping up his maiden world title. With Mercedes losing a world champion driver for 2017 and few options available Bottas became team principal Toto Wolff’s pick for this season alongside Hamilton in a deal which released the Finn from Williams and saw Felipe Massa pull off a retirement U-turn.

After a steady showing during pre-season testing in Spain getting to know the whole team and his new Mercedes W08, which was quickly dubbed a “diva”, Bottas impressed in the early rounds by securing his maiden pole position and race win inside the opening four rounds.

Bottas continued to vindicate Wolff's choice with a run of five consecutive rostrum results capped by a second pole and victory in Austria. But the Mercedes driver somewhat stumbled after the summer break with just two podiums in the space of six races to lose touch in the F1 world title race. A late recovery capped a solid year for Bottas but when assessed at the end of the season a number of team principals marked the Finn poorly for his performances.

How would you rate the Finn’s 2017 F1 campaign and first at Mercedes? Was too much expected of Bottas as replacement to a reigning F1 world champion or was finished 52 points behind team-mate Hamilton too great a difference?

Crash will be running Forum debates every day during the winter in preparation for the 2018 season debating a range of topics and issues – but you can submit your own ideas here.

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