By Alan BaldwinLONDON, England (Reuters) – Valtteri Bottas replaced retired Formula One world champion Nico Rosberg at Mercedes yesterday, with Brazilian veteran Felipe Massa coming out of retirement to take the Finn’s seat at Williams.Appearing at the factory with team boss Toto Wolff, Bottas promised to push new teammate and triple world champion Lewis Hamilton as hard as possible.“I’m sure we are going to be close and both pushing each other forward,” said the 27-year-old, who has yet to win a grand prix in four years at Williams but has appeared on the podium nine times.Wolff, who helped guide the Finn’s early career and also has close ties with Mercedes-powered Williams as a former shareholder, said Bottas would fit in well.“He’s very fast as a driver, and he shows our values,” added the Austrian, who has had an unexpectedly busy winter following Rosberg’s shock decision to quit 45 days ago, less than a week after winning his first championship.“He’s modest, humble and hard-working.”Williams had earlier announced that Massa, who left at the end of last season at the age of 35, had agreed a one-year contract to end the shortest of retirements.Mercedes have been dominant for the last three years, winning both the drivers and constructors’ titles, and will start as favourites again despite major aerodynamic rule changes.MAIN MANWhile Hamilton, 32, can expect to be the team’s main man – with many tipping the Briton to romp to a fourth title after winning 10 races in a rollercoaster 2016 – Bottas can be a genuine contender.“Now it’s time for the next level, to see how he can step up to challenge for race wins and for Championships,” Wolff said.“We know that we are already behind the curve in terms of preparations for the new season, so we’ve got a busy programme to get him integrated into the team. One thing is for sure: as I know Valtteri, he will give it everything.”Massa, a former race winner with Ferrari and 2008 world championship runner-up, will partner 18-year-old Canadian rookie Lance Stroll at Williams.“I always intended to race somewhere in 2017, but Williams is a team close to my heart and I have respect for everything it is trying to achieve,” said the Brazilian, who made a tearful farewell to his home crowd last November.“I certainly have not lost any of my enthusiasm for racing and I’m extremely motivated to be coming back to drive the FW40.”Sauber earlier set the day’s merry-go-round in motion by announcing that German driver Pascal Wehrlein, who was the Mercedes reserve and Bottas’ main rival to replace Rosberg, would race for them this year.Wehrlein, 22, drove for struggling Manor as a rookie last year but Mercedes felt they needed a more experienced replacement.Bottas’ arrival means Mercedes will have no German driver in their line-up for the first time since the German carmaker bought the former Brawn GP team at the end of 2009 and returned as a constructor.Rosberg was partnered by seven-time world champion Michael Schumacher until Hamilton arrived in 2013.Mercedes said Rosberg had accepted an ambassadorial role with the team for 2017, with his first commitment an appearance with Hamilton on Tuesday for watch sponsor IWC Schaffhausen.The day’s announcements left tail-enders Manor, who are in administration and seeking a rescuer, as the only team with any potential driver vacancies for the season starting in Australia on March 26.
‘THEY FAILED’ German icon blames Arsenal’s Mesut Ozil and another star for World Cup exit Salah picked up a shoulder injury during the Champions League final last month in Kiev, but returns to the starting line-up for this crunch clash.When is Russia v Egypt?This match will take place on Tuesday, 19th of June.It will kick off at 7pm UK time.The game will be played at the Saint Petersburg Stadium.How can I listen?Click here to listen to our live commentary of the action as it happens on talkSPORT. The Russian team before they beat Saudi Arabia 5-0 2 Who are the key players?Alan Dzagoez will now miss the remainder of the group stage because of a hamstring injury he picked up during Russia’s 5-0 win over Saudi Arabia, meaning Aleksandr Golovin becomes ever more pivotal for the host nation. He starred in their opening day win over Saudi Arabia, scoring one goal and creating two other goals, and all of their attacking play is likely to go through the CSKA Moscow playmaker.For Egypt could it be anyone but Mohamed Salah? The Liverpool star has scored for fun last season and was named PFA Player of the Year and FWA Footballer of the Year for his brilliant campaign. Opposition defenders are terrified of his pace and ability to get in shooting positions. The only concern is whether he will be 100 per cent fit, having missed the defeat to Uruguay due to the shoulder injury he suffered in the Champions League final.What is the team news?Russia: Akinfeev, Fernandes, Kutepov, Ignashevic, Cheryshev, Gazinskii, Zobnin, Golovin, Zhirkov, Samedov, DzyubaEgypt: Elshenawy, Ali Gabr, Hegazi, Fathi, Abdelshafy, Tarek Hamed, Elneny, Abdalla, Trezeguet, Marwan, Salah 2 UNITED Latest World Cup News Hosts Russia will take on Egypt in the second round of Group A fixtures after thrashing Saudi Arabia 5-0 in their opening game of the World Cup.Egypt are coming into the match on the back of a disappointing loss to Uruguay, which saw Liverpool ace Mohamed Salah left on the bench. 10 amazing football facts you won’t believe are true Liverpool ace Mo Salah is expected to play tomorrow’s match talkSPORT will be with listeners all day and all night at this year’s 2018 FIFA World Cup™ with over 800 hours of World Cup content and all 64 games live across the talkSPORT network. Stadiums revealed for 2026 World Cup in USA, Mexico and Canada