Valtteri Bottas’ future is red and white. Now it's official, after the weekend of the Dutch GP in which Raikkonen stole the show, announcing his retirement, now it's the turn of the other Finnish of the Circus, Valtteri Bottas, to be in the spotlight.
Bottas' agreement with Alfa Romeo Racing, announced this morning, is a multi-year agreement, which coincides with the technical revolution of 2022. The adventure of the two-time vice-world champion will start from the great unknown of the new regulations. An important opportunity to drag Alfa Romeo up again, as he himself explained.
After 5 years spent in a top team, by Lewis Hamilton's side - still finding 9 wins, 17 poles and 63 podiums - Bottas is returning to a team that is not in the top positions.
"I am so proud of everything we have achieved together in my time with Mercedes - and it is not over yet, because we have our biggest challenge so far to try and claim our eighth constructors' title," said the Finn as he commented on the news of his move to Alfa Romeo.
"When I look back on my time with Mercedes, I want to be able to say that I squeezed every drop out of this opportunity and left nothing on the table; and I want to make sure that we finish our time together as champions.
"It has been a privilege and a great sporting challenge to work with Lewis, and the harmony in our relationship played a big part in the constructors' championships we won as teammates. Later this year, the time will come to say goodbye -that's not for now, but I would like to thank Toto and the team for the respect in how we took the decision together.
"I am really pleased to have chosen my new challenge with Alfa Romeo, an exciting and iconic manufacturer, and by the opportunity to help lead the team forward up the grid. I'm as hungry as ever to race for results and when the time comes, for wins. But for now, my mission is clear: maximum attack for Mercedes, all the way to the final lap in Abu Dhabi."
I would like to thank @MercedesAMGF1 for the 5 years together. We have achieved quite some things, that I will never forget. And hey, we have still this season to Win! Let’s get it 💪https://t.co/2LOhwh1teb#VB77 @F1 pic.twitter.com/iMJljyTNNc— Valtteri Bottas (@ValtteriBottas) September 6, 2021
Several congratulatory messages have arrived from many motorsport figures, and even his longtime teammate, Lewis Hamilton, has decided to spend a few words for those who have accompanied him on this adventure for 5 years:
"I’m immensely proud to have worked alongside Valtteri for the last five years. Together, we’ve been part of a team that has delivered four Constructors’ Championships, and we’ve motivated one another to keep pushing through the ups and the downs. He has been the best teammate I’ve had the pleasure of working with. Your speed and resilience has been impressive but where you truly stand out to me is the human being you are. You are greater than you know and I know there’s a bright future ahead for you.
Thank you Valtteri for all of your support and amazing contributions to this team. You will be missed. I wish you all the best for your future endeavours. Let’s finish off strong and get that 8th for the team," the Englishman wrote.
Visualizza questo post su Instagram
With George Russell set to be announced as Hamilton's teammate for next year at some stage this week, team boss Toto Wolff thanked the Finn for his contribution to Mercedes' success in recent years and added he would have deserved to stay next year if Mercedes had opted to go with him.
"Together with Lewis, he has built a benchmark partnership between two teammates in the sport, and that has been a valuable weapon in our championship battles and pushed us to achieve unprecedented success.
"He would absolutely have deserved to stay with the team, and I am pleased that he has been able to choose an exciting challenge with Alfa next year to continue his career at the top level of the sport; when the time comes, he will leave us with huge goodwill from every single member of the team, and he will forever be part of the Mercedes family."