RACE DEBRIEF

    Valtteri Bottas will join forces with former boss Fred Vasseur at Alfa Romeo from next season, after signing a multi-year deal with the Swiss team.

    The Finn, who won the GP3 title with Vasseur’s ART Grand Prix team in 2011, will leave Mercedes where he has partnered Lewis Hamilton since 2017.

    ANALYSIS: Why Bottas signed for Alfa Romeo – and what it means for Mercedes, Williams and the rest of the driver market

    During his time with the Silver Arrows, he played a key role in winning four constructors’ championships and secured nine wins and 53 podiums.

    His future at Mercedes has been the subject of speculation for months, with boss Toto Wolff evaluating whether to promote the brand’s junior George Russell into Bottas’ seat.

    1235070336
    Bottas will see Alfa Romeo into the new era of Formula 1

    Bottas’ experience will be key to Alfa Romeo, as they look to make a move towards the front of the grid next year – when sweeping new rules are introduced.

    “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,” said Bottas.

    READ MORE: Russell admits he already knows where he'll be driving in 2022 – and says he was told before Belgian GP

    “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 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.

    Reaction: Valtteri Bottas moves to Alfa Romeo from 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.”

    READ MORE: Alfa Romeo move a chance for Bottas to emerge from Hamilton’s shadow, says Vasseur

    Vasseur 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.

    1207317770
    Kimi Raikkonen announced, before the Dutch Grand Prix, that he would retire from F1 at the end of the season

    “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 1: we are excited for what the future holds in store.”

    The news comes after Kimi Raikkonen announced he will leave Alfa Romeo and retire at the end of the season. The Italian team have yet to decide who will partner Bottas in 2022.