Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff praised Valtteri Bottas following confirmation he will leave the team at the end of the season.George Russell, who will join them from Williams.
“This hasn’t been an easy process or a straightforward decision for us,” said Wolff. “Valtteri has done a fantastic job over the past five seasons and he has made an essential contribution to our success and to our growth.”
Bottas and team mate Lewis Hamilton have taken Mercedes to four consecutive constructors’ championships. Hamilton won each of the drivers’ titles during that time.
“Together with Lewis, he has built a benchmark partnership between two team mates in the sport, and that has been a valuable weapon in our championship battles and pushed us to achieve unprecedented success,” Wolff continued.
“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 to continue his career at the top level of the sport.
“When the time comes, he will leave us with huge goodwill from every single member of the team, and he will forever be part of the Mercedes family.”
Bottas said he will be on “maximum attack for Mercedes all the way to the final lap in Abu Dhabi” before joining Alfa Romeo next year.
“When I look back on my time with Mercedes I want to be able to say that I squeezed every drop out of this opportunity and left nothing on the table,” he said. “I want to make sure that we finish our time together as champions.
“It has been a privilege and a great sporting challenge to work with Lewis and the harmony in our relationship played a big part in the constructors’ championships we won as team mates. Later this year, the time will come to say goodbye – that’s not for now, but I would like to thank Toto and the team for the respect in how we took the decision together.”
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