The Formula One team said in a statement on Monday that Finnish driver Valtteri Bottas, 32, will leave Mercedes to join Alfa Romeo in 2022 “on a multi-year contract”.
It will come after his replacement for the Silver Arrows was formalized by Britain’s George Russell, 23, of Williams, future teammate of seven-times world champion Lewis Hamilton.
At Alfa Romeo, Bottas will succeed compatriot Kimi Raikkonen, who will retire at the end of 2021 at the age of 42, in a leading role.
“The potential of the Hinwil factory [en Suisse, où est basée sa future écurie, NDLR] Obviously, I enjoy the opportunity to help advance the team on the grid, especially with a new slate in 2022 that gives him a chance to make the leap in performance,” the person involved said in a press release.
“I am grateful for the trust the team has given me and can’t wait to pay it back: I want to run more than ever to get good results, and when the time comes, I win.”
“He’s the right driver to help Alfa Romeo move to the front of the grid,” said future manager Fred Vasseur, who has previously trained Bottas in the lower classes, in Formula 3 and GP3.
This transfer comes at the dawn of a technical revolution in F1, with all-new singles seats that will be on track from next year.
Valtteri Bottas arrived in Motorsports First Class in 2013 at Williams, before being promoted to Mercedes in 2017 to replace German world champion Nico Rosberg following his sudden retirement.
With the German team, the Finn won 63 podiums in 9 races, fell in 17 places and won 4 constructors’ titles. Second in the drivers’ championship in 2019 and 2020, he never managed to get Hamilton worried.
Russell in GP3 in 2017 and then in F2 in 2018, he is part of Mercedes’ young drivers. He has been racing in Formula 1 since 2019 at Williams and signed the podium in Belgium last week (2NS), at the end of the race to a few laps behind the safety car due to rain.
In 2020, he was very convincing as a replacement for Hamilton – who has been tested positive for COVID-19 – at the Sakhir Grand Prix in Bahrain, qualifying in 2NS Before he sees a series of bad adventures deny him victory (he will finally be ranked ninthNS).
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