Valtteri Bottas has been confirmed as an Alfa Romeo driver for 2022, paving the way for George Russell to join Mercedes next season.
The Finn has been a Mercedes driver since 2017, when he was selected to replace Nico Rosberg after the 2016 world champion’s shock retirement. Bottas has helped Mercedes win every constructors’ championship since, but the 32-year-old will move to Alfa Romeo in place of Kimi Raikkonen next season on a multi-year deal.
“A new chapter in my racing career is opening: 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,” Bottas said. “Alfa Romeo is a brand that needs no introduction, they have written some great pages of Formula 1 history and it’s going to be an honor 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, team principal) 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.”
RACER understands Bottas turned down an opportunity to return to Williams once his Mercedes departure was confirmed. The vacancy at Williams was created by George Russell, who is expected to be confirmed as Bottas’ replacement at Mercedes in the coming days.