Nico Hulkenberg has predicted great things for Valtteri Bottas at his new team Alfa Romeo.
The Bottas-leaving-Mercedes saga has finally come to a close, with him set to leave the team and join Alfa Romeo at the end of the season. He signed a multi-year deal with the Italian team, with George Russell taking his place in his Silver Arrow.
Many think Bottas suffered a downgrade of a move, going from the fastest car on the grid to a lower-end one. However, Hulkenberg backed the Finn, and predicted great things for Bottas at Alfa Romeo.
As quoted by Planet F1, Hulkenberg said, “It seems Valtteri is still hungry, still wants to drive.
“I would have understood very well if he wanted to take a year off after these five intense years at Mercedes alongside Lewis Hamilton.
“You have to pay respect to him because it’s not easy to race against possibly the best in the world. He has also had to put up with a lot over the years,”the German concluded.
Leaving as a legend
Tributes poured from all corners of the F1 community when Bottas announced that he would be leaving Mercedes. His role in Mercedes winning seven Constructors’ Championships in a row was a major one. Teammate Lewis Hamilton took to Instagram to hail his teammate, and to wish him the best for his future.
“I’m immensely proud to have worked alongside Valtteri Bottas for the last five years. He has been the best teammate I’ve had the pleasure of working with,”Hamilton said.
“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.”
Read more: Alfa Romeo weighing up Hulkenberg to team up with Bottas for 2022