Valtteri Bottas will leave Mercedes at the end of this year after it was announced today that he would drive for Alfa Romeo Racing on a multi-year contract beginning in 2022.
The 32-year-old Finn, who has been at Mercedes since 2017 when he was drafted in to replace Nico Rosberg after the German suddenly announced his retirement from the sport at the end of 2016, will leave the team after five years of service, with Bottas securing nine Grand Prix victories and 17 pole positions as well as twice finishing second in the drivers’ championship behind teammate Lewis Hamilton during his tenure at the Silver Arrows.
Although Bottas currently lies third in the drivers’ championship, his future has been a talking point in the paddock for most of the year, with rumours swirling that Williams driver George Russell would graduate to Mercedes after three years at the Grove-based team.
Bottas, who replaces his retiring countryman Kimi Raikkonen stated that he was relishing the challenge ahead, where he hopes to move the Swiss-based outfit further up the grid after a difficult 2020 and 2021 season.
“I’m excited to join Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN for 2022 and beyond for what is going to be a new challenge with an iconic manufacturer. Alfa Romeo is a brand that needs no introduction, they have written some great pages of Formula One history, and it’s going to be an honour to represent this marque. The potential of the setup in Hinwil is clear and I am relishing the opportunity to help lead the team forward up the grid, especially with the new regulations in 2022 giving the team a chance to make a leap in performance.”
“I’m grateful for the trust the team has put in me and I cannot wait to repay their faith: I’m as hungry as ever to race for results and, when the time comes, for wins. I know Fred [Vasseur] well and I am looking forward to getting to know the rest of the team I am going to work with, building relationships as strong as the ones I have at Mercedes. I am proud of what I have achieved in Brackley and I am fully focused on finishing the job as we fight for another world championship, but I am also looking forward to the new challenges that await me next year.”
Alfa Romeo’s team principal Frederic Vasseur who worked with Bottas previously when the pair were at ART Grand Prix, added that he was pleased to secure the Finn’s services stating that Bottas was the right driver to move Alfa Romeo further up the grid.
“It is a pleasure to welcome Valtteri to the team and we are looking forward to our journey together. With him, we bring to Hinwil a strong team player with experience at the sharp end of the grid. Valtteri has been an integral part of a team that rewrote the history books and he has four constructors’ world titles to his name: he is the right driver to help Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN make a step forward towards the front of the grid.”
“Our relationship goes back a long way, to when we worked together in successful campaigns in F3 and GP3, and his talent and skills have been evident ever since, only growing with the time: I’m really looking forward to seeing him put his ability to work for the good of the team. The multi-year deal bringing him to us gives both Valtteri and the team the stability we need to build our project at a crucial time for Formula One: we are excited for what the future holds in store.”