F1 driver Valtteri Bottas is set to leave Mercedes at the end of the season and will join Alfa Romeo.
The news dropped that Bottas will leave the German team, where he spent the last few seasons at. He replaced Nico Rosberg in 2017. He will move to Alfa Romeo to replace the retiring Kimi Raikkonen next season.
Alfa Romeo announced that Bottas had signed a multi-year deal. Mercedes announced that Bottas would be leaving as well, and thanked him for his time with the team. Bottas won nine races in his time with Mercedes, and his last win came last season at the Russian GP. He will now move to Alfa Romeo, where he will be the main driver according to fans and pundits.
“A new chapter in my racing career is opening,” Bottas said, as reported by the Globe and Mail.
“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.
“It has been a privilege and a great sporting challenge to work with Lewis (Hamilton), and the harmony in our relationship played a big part in the constructors’ championships we won,” Bottas said. “I would like to thank Toto (Wolff) and the team for the respect in how we took the decision together.”
Tributes poured in for the Finnish driver from many places. Among them was Wolff, who heaped praise on Bottas for his contributions to the team’s success.
“Valtteri has done a fantastic job and he has made an essential contribution to our success and to our growth,” Wolff said.
“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.”
Alfa Romeo Team Principal Frédéric Vasseur spoke about his excitement at the move, and revealed that the team is eager to see what happens in the future.
“The multi-year deal bringing him to us gives both Valtteri and the team the stability we need to build,” Vasseur said. “We are excited for what the future holds in store.”