Valtteri Bottas is set to leave Mercedes and join forces with Alfa Romeo Racing from next season, after signing a multi-year deal with the Hinwil-based Italian-Swiss team.
Born in Nastola, Finland, on August 28th, 1989, Bottas had a distinguished career in the junior formulas, becoming only the second driver to win both the Formula Renault Eurocup and the Formula Renault Northern European Cup in the same year, in 2008, and following this by winning the Masters of Formula 3 in both 2009 and 2010 – the first to achieve this double-triumph feat. A promotion to the GP3 Series saw Bottas win four races and claim the title, demonstrating his readiness for the biggest stage of motorsport.
The Finn joined Formula One in 2013 with Williams, scoring four points in his debut year. The following year saw the introduction of the hybrid power units in the sport with Mercedes getting the best start to the new era of Formula One. As Williams was a partner of the German engine manufacturer, it profited
The Finn joined Formula One in 2013 with Williams, scoring four points in his debut year. The following year saw the introduction of the hybrid power units in the sport with Mercedes getting the best start to the new era of the Formula One. As Williams was a partner of the German engine manufacturer, it profited from the dominant power units. Bottas made use of the competitiveness of his FW36, recording a fastest lap and scoring six podiums in total. At the end of the year, the Nastola-born driver finished in the illustrious 4th place in the Drivers’ Championship.
Bottas stayed with Williams for the 2015 and 2016 season, scoring a further three podiums and ending the year 5th and 8th in the standings respectively.
When the freshly crown world champion Nico Rosberg announced his immediate retirement from Formula One at the end of 2016, Mercedes picked Bottas to replace the German. The Finn finished 3rd in the standings in 2017, taking three victories en route to score a total of 305 points.
2018 was a low-point for Bottas in his tenure with Mercedes as he only finished 5th, failing to keep up with his team mate Lewis Hamilton and the Ferrari duo of Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Räikkönen. In 2019 and 2020, he finished runner-up behind his team mate, using the mighty power and dominance of Mercedes.
With Mercedes believed to sign George Russell for 2022, the nine-time Grand Prix winner has now announced that he will leave the Brackley-based outfit at the end of the current season and will join Alfa Romeo Racing Orlen for the forthcoming campaign, after signing a multi-year deal with the Hinwil-based team.
Welcome to Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN, VB77! 👋🏻 pic.twitter.com/ZW9VoRRJif— Alfa Romeo F1 Team ORLEN (@alfaromeoorlen) September 6, 2021
Commenting on the announcement, Bottas said: “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. Alfa Romeo is a brand that needs no introduction, they have written some great pages of Formula One history and it’s going to be an honour 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] 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.”
Frédéric Vasseur, Team Principal of Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN added: “It is a pleasure to welcome Valtteri to the team and we are looking forward to our journey together. With him, we bring to Hinwil a strong team player with experience at the sharp end of the grid.
"Valtteri has been an integral part of a team that rewrote the history books and he has four constructors’ world titles to his name: he is the right driver to help Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN make a step forward towards the front of the grid. Our relationship goes back a long way, to when we worked together in successful campaigns in F3 and GP3, and his talent and skills have been evident ever since, only growing with the time: I’m really looking forward to seeing him put his ability to work for the good of the team.
"The multi-year deal bringing him to us gives both Valtteri and the team the stability we need to build our project at a crucial time for Formula One: we are excited for what the future holds in store," Vasseur concluded.