Valtteri Bottas will leave Mercedes: who will be Lewis Hamilton's Formula 1 partner.


The 32-year-old Finn will join Alfa Romeo in 2022 "on a multi-year contract," the team announced.

Valtteri Bottas will leave Mercedes and compete for the Ferrari-powered Alfa Romeo in a "multi-year" deal starting in 2022, the Swiss-based Formula 1 team announced in a statement Monday.

The departure of Finn paves the way for George Russell to leave Williams and join the All-British lineup at Mercedes with seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton.

It opens a new chapter in my racing career, acknowledged Bottas, winner of nine Grands Prix, who will replace his compatriot Kimi Raikkonen, who was world champion in 2007 and recently announced his retirement.

It should be noted that this news comes after the hard Sunday that Mercedes suffered at the Dutch GP, in which Max Verstappen won the victory. There, the German team lost the top of the World Drivers' Championship at the hands of the Dutch rider and on top of it had another controversy with Valtteri Bottas, when he disobeyed an order for Hamilton's benefit.

I am enjoying the opportunity to help the team move forward on the grid, especially with the new rules in 2022, which will allow the team to jump into performance he said of his new team.

"I am grateful for the trust that the team has placed in me, and I can't wait to return their faith: I am hungrier than ever to run for results and, when the time comes, for victories," he said.

Bottas, 32, joined Mercedes from Williams in 2017, following the abrupt retirement of 2016 world champion Nico Rosberg, and said he was proud of what he had accomplished alongside Hamilton.

Working with Lewis has been an honor and a major sporting challenge, and the harmony in our relationship contributed to the Constructors' Championship that we won as a team," he said. Mercedes has won the last seven drivers' and constructors' championships.

Alpha boss Frederick Vasseur, who worked with Bottas when Finn was in the junior category, said the driver was the best player on the team.

Valtteri was an integral part of a team that rewrote the history books and has four constructors' world titles to his name - he's the right driver to help Alfa Romeo Racing take a step forward to the front of the grid,"

Mercedes paid tribute to the Finn, not to mention his replacement. "It has not been an easy process or a simple decision for us. However, Valtteri has done a fantastic job over the last five seasons and has made an essential contribution to our success and growth," said team boss Toto Wolff.

"Together with Lewis, he has built a landmark partnership between two teammates in the sport, and he has been a valuable weapon in our championship battles and propelled us to unprecedented success. 

He will always be part of the Mercedes family.

As far as the alternative is concerned, everything indicates that the young George Russell will occupy the seat in Silver Aero's second car. The 23-year-old Briton, who spent three seasons at Williams, made a big impression with Mercedes at the Bahrain Grand Prix, replacing Hamilton, who tested positive for COVID-19.

After winning the GP3 title in 2017 and the F2 in 2018, Russell is part of the Mercedes Young Driver Pool. He has been racing with Williams in F1 since 2019 and signed a podium in Belgium last week (second); some laps left behind a safety car due to rain at the end of the race.