Official: Bottas to join Alfa Romeo in 2022 after Mercedes departure

2022 F1 season

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Alfa Romeo has confirmed Valtteri Bottas will drive for them next year in a new multi-year deal following his departure from Mercedes.

Bottas has driven for Mercedes for the past five seasons. His place at the team alongside Lewis Hamilton is expected to be taken by Williams driver George Russell.

“A new chapter in my racing career is opening,” said Bottas, whose connection to Alfa Romeo was first revealed by RaceFans. “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.”

He will take the place vacated by Kimi Raikkonen, whose retirement was announced prior to the Dutch Grand Prix. Since Raikkonen joined Alfa Romeo in 2019 the team has finished eighth in the constructors championship twice and lies ninth at present. However Bottas sees an opportunity to help them move up the grid.

“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,” he said. “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.”

Bottas made his Formula 1 race debut with Williams in 2013. He won the GP3 championship, now known as Formula 3, with ART two years earlier. The ART squad was run by current Alfa Romeo team principal Frederic Vasseur.

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“I know Fred 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,” said Bottas.

Bottas won GP3 title with Vasseur 10 years ago
“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,” he added.

Vasseur described Bottas as “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,” Vasseur continued. “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.”

Signing Bottas on a long-term deal “gives both Valtteri and the team the stability we need to build our project at a crucial time for Formula 1”, Vasseur added. “We are excited for what the future holds in store.”

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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158 comments on “Official: Bottas to join Alfa Romeo in 2022 after Mercedes departure”

  1. Can he move from this Friday maybe?

    1. It would not surprise me if they move George to Mercedes next week to help Lewis for the WDC. Bottas can go on a early holiday and Nick de Vries can replace George at Wiliams for the rest of the year.

      1. @grapmg I don’t see them doing that to Bottas. It also has the risk of destabilizing the team. Lewis will hang in there with Max. Mercedes just need to work together to hold off Perez who, sadly, doesn’t seem to need help falling backwards and has to deal with Norris.

        P1 + P5 = 35 points
        P2 + P3 + FL = 34 points

        Lewis needs a few P1s to make up the gap and 1 super race like Silverstone. It’s a very tall order but if there’s a driver in the world who could potentially win this championship against all odds, it’s Lewis.

        1. “all odds”

        2. Hehe, yeah, what odds, it seems pretty 50:50.

          Good tracks for Mercedes are coming and Verstappen has a looming engine penalty.

          1. Not to mention the rub of the green has went the Lewis way with Max loosing out so many points due to “events” beyond his control.

        3. Super race like silverstone, ahah, least deserved hamilton win there out of his, and he won a lot, almost lost to leclerc in a car 15 sec slower across the race.

  2. Good for him. No more single year contracts binding him to compromised situations.

  3. As a massive Lewis fan, this is one of the best news for me. I really hope George takes the fight to Lewis. And i hope he comes out on top. I believe George is the best driver to take over Lewis, crown.

    1. If Russell is as great as he promised and ready, then Hamilton and Russell will just push each other and the team just like the Rosberg-Hamilton years.

      1. the problem now is that they are not fighting alone for the title as Lewis and Nico did back in the day. Max will also be in the mix, so the 2 Merc boys will need to work together while also fighting for the alpha status.

      2. The team won’t allow that, it will be similar to leclerc/vettel case. If george is faster they will allow him to be number one in the following year, but at the beginning his comments will be like “I am here to support Lewis”, just like leclerc.

        1. Support Lewis with 8 poles(or however many Leclerc had) and leading the championship?

          But in general it is better to have two fast drivers. Imagine Red Bull yesterday with two Verstappens.. They would destroy Mercedes.

          As it was, they had a fairly decent score without a win.

          1. “imagine” lol

          2. Yes, 2 verstappens would be an absolute nightmare for mercedes, I don’t know where you’d find another verstappen, maybe norris, or leclerc, they’re not likely to leave their teams but that’s probably the closest it gets.

          3. 2 “ Verstappens” vs Hamilton and Bottas? That is definitely going to give Mercedes a lot of trouble. Same goes with two equally matched fast drivers against one equally fast driver and one like Bottas or Perez pacewise. It is always better to have both drivers equally matched and fast, if this can be handled by the whole team.

        2. @TurboBT

          How does that work if Russell out quali’s Hamilton?

        3. Agree, that’s likely, but then ofc he can do what leclerc did.

  4. Wondering what happenes with Nick deVries joining F1 grid and who will be teammate with Bottas next year.

    1. One of the things that will probably happen is that you are more often active on another F1-related website.
      legend says that you still have zero kills

  5. Who will replace Bottas at Mercedes?

    1. Kubica probably.

      1. Not sure if it is cynical, but don’t think that Mercedes is waiting for Verstappen to win and than come with the announcement of something that was clear for some time. More likely that all deals are signed and that it can be announced. Also there is no reason for Mercedes to align their PR with the live of Verstappen

    2. Will be really funny if they get some new guy in that seat, and George remains in Williams.

    3. No idea. Toto said it was just a matter of getting a signature before yesterdays race, and then Toto and George met in Mercedes motorhome after the race and the Drive to Survive cameras were invited in to film what went on. But I’m sure that was nothing to do with it

      1. @ian dearing But Netflix didn’t follow Mercedes last weekend as they were with them for the Belgian GP weekend, or did they?

      2. petebaldwin (@)
        6th September 2021, 13:50

        He didn’t say who’s signature was missing. Perhaps it was Bottas and now this has been sorted, Mercedes are clear to announce Russell when they want to.

    4. Noooo – its the return of the Hulk

      1. hulk should do the right thing and disappear from ANY f1 return conversation because he is trash, a decade in f1 driving upper midfield cars and no podiums? Also he has the same problem as Mansell in 1995 : he is too fat to race in f1 at 77kg+ can he even fit in a modern f1 car? Get 2021 Lemans winner Kamui Kobayoshi in the car!

        1. @ccpbioweapon Yeah, a “trash” driver that just happened to beat a current Red Bull and a current Ferrari driver over a season. Podiums aren’t everything, it’s about points at the end of the day.

          1. Absolutely, complaining about hulk lacking podiums is the same as complaining about russell lacking points in a williams till recently, those cars don’t give many opportunities to get them.

        2. @ccpbioweapon you are a nasty small minded individual aren’t you

    5. @f199player no one saw this coming, I foresee many sleepless nights for Toto as he struggles to find someone else capable of jumping into a Mercedes and fighting with the red bulls.

      1. Ahaha, that’s a fun one.

    6. I hear Albon’s free since Toto blocked him from going to Williams

      1. Ahah, if albon were really a strong driver that would come back to bite wolff!

      1. of course it is Russell, but just imagine for a second how big would it be for F1 if it was Alonso

        1. Right now Russel is more spectacular than Alonso…

      2. Alonso makes sense but to red bull, russell-hamilton is a formidable line-up, perez is really disappointing atm.

    7. It’ll be Grosjean of course, that’s why he did that test with them.

    8. Susie Wolff.

    9. The ghost of Rudolf Caracciola?

    10. My hamster, and will do much better than Bottas

  6. What a let-down from Fred.

  7. Didn’t see that one coming.

  8. Hopefully Bottas can get a bit less compliant and race for fun through the end of the season

    1. Yes, he needs to show Alfa Romeo, and any other team that maybe interested in him in the future, that he is not a team player.
      And given Perez is missing in action as a No 2 most of the time, hopefully Bottas can send a few points Max’s way over the rest of the season.

      1. I don’t think it’s a problem if he shows he’s willing to race, look at raikkonen late 2018, the next team will get him anyway, he’s on the way out from mercedes, so.

    2. What he needs is to be faster.

  9. So Kimi took Mika’s place at Mclaren when he went on sabbatical and now Valtteri has taken Kimi’s seat at Alfa when Kimi retires.

    1. Very good point.

    2. That’s why they are FINISHED 😂

    3. Interesting, so they should find another finnish driver soon, for when bottas retires!

  10. Multi year deal and a change of scenery. I reckon he will turn into the same driver we saw at williams

    1. So that’s roughly on a par with an ageing, post-accident Felipe Massa.

      1. @jackisthestig Bottas destroyed Massa, even though Smedly constantly kept helping Massa with better strategy and messed up multiple races (podiums) for Bottas

        1. I think that assessment it rather generous towards Valtteri.

          1. True, he was a bit better but at their peak I see the 2 pretty equal, don’t forget massa almost beat hamilton to the title with similar cars, I’d say that seeing bottas as a wdc without dominant cars is pretty generous.

          2. @jackisthestig Well the facts show it’s real

  11. Don’t know if it’s my view of life but cynically it seems that all this announcement and chatter has been deliberately timed to detract from Max’s performance and victory yesterday. Surely they could have delayed this all by a day or two to let Max enjoy the limelight of a really good home race!

    1. After that win and that atmosphere, I doubt that max cares @chimaera2003. The only thing that could make him lose a wink of sleep right now is probably the great feeling from yesterday

      1. @3dom When I wrote the comment I was thinking of RBR’s perspective (re-reading it I wasn’t obvious that was what I had implied). Given that F1 is used as a marketing tool by them I would have thought they would have preferred to have had more chatter and column inches over Max’s performance to maximise that particular achievement.

        I agree on your comment that Max individually won’t care as he has had all the benefit and kudos as I doubt his salary is linked to marketing potential realised. Equally RBR might not care either!!

        1. Fair enough @chimaera2003 🙂

          Tbf from a marketing perspective you’re probably bang on the money, I’m sure that’s what RBs team were thinking today 😄

    2. Not sure if it is cynical, but don’t think that Mercedes is waiting for Verstappen to win and than come with the announcement of something that was clear for some time. More likely that all deals are signed and that it can be announced. Also there is no reason for Mercedes to align their PR with the live of Verstappen

      For some reason this reply ended some where else

      1. There is clearly an order of delivery here so each driver gets his spot in the news: 1 Kimi
        2 Bottas
        3 Russell
        4 Williams?
        5 Alfa second seat?
        6 Williams second seat
        ……..and so on.

        Nothing to do with Verstappen who I doubt is as thin skinned about such things as his hyperventilating Greek chorus.

      2. It would be cynical though to think they let him win yesterday just to be able to announce this today.

    3. @chimaera2003 Wolff already pretty much gave it away when he stated that a seat at Williams was opening up.

    4. That’s just you I’m afraid. Seems you have a lot of growing up to do.

  12. All the best to BOT, the consummate team player. After many years of a #2 role, he now gets to lead a team. Even better, he gets to race freely!

    1. “After many years of a #2 role” more FAKE NEWS. Unlike redbull he has the same opportunities as HAM to win the WDC, where was the outrage when Irvine and Rubens Barrichellos contract (‘let Micheal pass for the championship Rubens” ) stated that MSC was the number one driver???

      Stop making excuses for BOT not capitalizing on a top seat in a top car, if he cannot beat his team mate he will be demoted to rear gunner like any other team.

      Also stop making BOT the victim here, he got paid millions and virtually guaranteed podiums racing for Merc, I doubt will match that at sauber unless they pull a 2009 Brawn and find another ridiculous regulation change loophole to have a rocket ship 2022 car…

      1. @ccpbioweapon First off, I have no doubt that at Red Bull the drivers have equal equipment and opportunity. The most recent example of that was with DR on the team and several around here love to claim DR beat Max while he was there. Since then of course they have not had availability of another driver of DR’s caliber and/or they were new to the team, lagging, and therefore not the ones to be taking points away from Max.

        But otherwise, yeah I was ‘outraged’ at MS’s teammates contracts, as were many when that particularly came to the fore at Austria 02. And yeah I agree VB had equal equipment and opportunity at Mercedes and couldn’t take the fight to LH. The gloves needed to come off and they never did. Every season he has been with Mercedes LH got the jump on him to the point where they couldn’t afford to have VB take points away from him throughout the seasons. VB can drive an F1 car very well. He just can’t fight with one using racecraft.

        1. @robbie

          First off, I have no doubt that at Red Bull the drivers have equal equipment and opportunity.

          They don’t. Read any site that does technical analysis and you see that Perez is always one or two specs behind on Verstappen. With Red Bull’s #1 and #2 driver strategy, it makes sense t hat they support Verstappen, but don’t pretend that they have equal machinery.

          And of course the car is designed for Verstappen, the strategy will always be focused on Verstappen, development of the car will always be focused on Verstappen.

          While at Mercedes they give Bottas the better strategy when he’s in front. Granted it hasn’t happened much the last 2 seasons, but still. They even have stopped their drivers from taking another strategy after Hamilton beat Bottas by adopting to an off sync strategy in Silverstone.

          1. @f1osaurus I’m sure you could link me to the sites of which you speak, and I’m sure what they’ll talk about is the fact that as the newbie to the team, obviously still not up to speed for the most part, if in fact they have an upgrade for Max the same upgrade might not be of any use to SP who is still trying to find his way. That is far different than what I’m really talking about which is some intentional holding back of a number two in favour of a number one. So let’s not pretend that if SP doesn’t have absolutely everything Max has at all times it is for a malicious reason. Max doesn’t need that kind of help to look better, and the team has it only in their best interest to do their utmost for SP, with obviously the ultimate goal being 1-2’s on the grid and shutting out the competition. Let’s not pretend Mercedes has never tried new bits with LH first, as the one extracting the most from the car, ala Max. I’m not claiming anything malicious at Mercedes either. It’s just natural. To me the most malicious behaviour by far was with MS/Ferrari when by contracting his teammates to be subservient they could then go ahead and design the car completely for him. Designer car with designer tires to boot. Sure, RB got to drive the same car. MS’s. And no equal opportunity with it.

          2. @robbie yes yes excuses excuses to try and cover for facts. The reality is that Perez is a designated #2 driver. While Bottas only is asked to adopt #2 role on occasion, but other than that he starts on the exact same level of support and machinery as Hamilton does.

          3. @f1osaurus 😂 as of course you continue to fail to provide links while you only know to tell other people to find phantom links that don’t exist that ‘prove’ your point. And while you continue to ignore the reality that if they wanted a better teammate beside LH they wouldn’t have continued signing VB after he continued showing year after year to be no bother to LH.

          4. @robbie Yeah I’m going to wade through thousands of news messages just so I can provide a link to someone who is unable to read and comprehend. The fact that you don’t have this as ready knowledge is proof that you are unqualified to post on these matters anyway.

            Besides whatever I waste my time on, you will just move the goal posts when you realize your mistake anyway. Which you just did regardless of this much needed “proof” . You simply moved from “equal equipment and opportunity” (which you at least seem to realize was a dumb remark) to some lame argument about “better” team mates.

            Bottas would wipe the floor with Verstappen in quali. In equal cars that is.

          5. @robbie Thanks for finally understanding. No need to cry so much though.

      2. @ccpbioweapon @andrewwj What a negative reply to a positive farewell. While I would have preferred to have seen Hulkenberg in Bottas’s seat, Bottas has been better than most people believe. He was scoring nearly 80% of Lewis’ points in many seasons and that’s what Nico managed with the exception of 2016.

        Lately he has been off the pace but I’m not sure if it’s mental at this point. Competition at that level is 100% mental. A change of scenery is the only way to resolve that or to get a coach but F1 drivers are a bit stupid and think they know everything… The coach is more important than your driving skills 80% of the time – F1 drivers aren’t the smartest bunch… Lewis seems to be one of the brighter ones out there – that much is quite obvious and I guess that explains why he has a coach.

      3. Well, actually it was some outrage back then with Barrichello. He also contributed to that outrage… although he had a CONTRACT. If one doesn’t not agree with a contract… why sign it?!?! Barrichello was some sort of cheater here: he accepted to race for Ferrari because of their fame, big money… then he didn’t respect the contract!! Anyway, contract or not, Barrichello never was as helpful and/or “willing” to accept orders as Bottas… although he had a contract. Ferrari never got to the point of making a complete buffoon from their 2nd driver the way Mercedes did. They’re champions in this department too, for sure. HAM still owes BOT 1 win from 2018. At least Schumacher had the decency to gave back the win from Austria to Barrichello, in the same year: USA!

        1. @mg1982 I’m not sure why you believe that Mercedes have made a complete buffoon of Bottas. I think Bottas is the one who put himself in that position and, of course, Mercedes would not want one car to block another car especially when they are on different strategies.

          1. Then the same goes for barrichello, who was performing similarly to bottas in relation to schumacher.

        2. Absolutely, and I never saw this contract, will have to check, but how can we be sure no other driver ever (since I only hear schumacher being criticised for this) had this in their contract? Not everyone shows them.

          In any case none of these drivers, perez, albon, gasly, bottas, barrichello, massa, irvine, could compete with the n. 1 driver, if you put a leclerc you’d have seen sparks.

  13. So next year we will find out if Russell really belongs to the top tier of F1 drivers, which is what I was looking forward to.
    There will be nowhere to hide. He needs to beat Lewis in quali and race pace consistently otherwise it’s Valteri Bottas v2.0.
    Can’t wait to find out…

    1. Qualy a possibility. Race pace a tall order if Lewis gets comfortable with the new regs

        1. @3dom new regs mean brand new car for the both of them mate.
          All the top tier drivers hit the ground running as soon as they get their hands on competitive machinery.
          Senna in the Lotus, Schumacher in the Benneton, Alonso in the Renault, Lewis in the McLaren, Verstappen in the Red Bull.
          Nowhere to hide for Russell.

          1. @pmccarthy_is_a_legend Sure, I don’t disagree with what you are saying but you’re making it sound like he should be quaking in his boots. He’ll no doubt be ultra stoked for this is the very thing his ilk dream of since their childhood…a ride on a top team in F1 and all the opportunities that affords.

            I agree the car will be new to LH too, so for sure this should be GR’s best opportunity than many have had in his position, to go up against such an icon. As you say, let’s see. First let’s see how the car is compared to the competition, and let’s see how they like/dislike their cars. Much about GR’s ‘role’ will depend on what LH and Max as just two examples, will be doing…the competition in general. Or maybe indeed Mercedes will prefer GR to take a student to LH role as the newbie on the team anyway. Very hard to know and probably they don’t know either until we all see them all race in anger at race one next year, and then ‘roles,’ if that needs be, will take shape.

  14. I’ve been a big supporter of Valtteri’s ever since I watched him at the first corner at Yas Marina during FP1 for the 2012 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. He impressed me hugely that day, he was visibly the most committed guy into that turn that day, with the possible exception of Hamilton. Valtteri should be very proud of his career to date, his stint at Mercedes in particular. Most people seem to hold the view that he is slow and undeserving of the seat, but nothing could be further from the truth. He’s been just what Mercedes needed and if you look at the gaps closely over the last 5 years he has run Hamilton closely a lot of the time. It’s true that he has been well and truly shaded occasionally, but he has impressed me with his resilience because no matter how hard he got battered he dusted himself off and bounced right back. In addition, he’s played the team game really well. He should leave the team with his head held high. Now he take on the lead role at Alfa Romeo and hopefully help push that team up the grid.

    For George, it is time to put his money where his mouth is, because as Valtteri has found out over the last 5 years, being team mates with Lewis Hamilton is the toughest job on the grid.

    1. @geemac Bottas is a good driver. He’s just not top tier. And there is nothing wrong with that.
      He will be fine at Alfa.
      I agree let’s see how Russell do against Lewis.
      If Russell belongs in the top bracket he will should be eating Lewis from the get go.
      We will find out.
      Now thinking back, what if Bottas had completely wiped the floor with Russell in Bahrain last year huh? In hindsight that weekend was probably the beginning of the end for Bottas at Mercedes…

      1. Fair point @pmccarthy_is_a_legend

        Although if he takes a bit of time, I won’t rule him out for big things. Rosberg…

      2. @pmccarthy_is_a_legend I’m not convinced that if VB had wiped the floor with GR in Bahrain last year that would mean TW would see VB as the heir apparent to LH, which is what I think much of this is about. TW doesn’t need GR to beat LH in the next two seasons, but fine if he does for that will mean something awesome, but he certainly needs him to be on top form and well engrained on the team for when LH retires. Imho TW may have known at least two years ago that VB was not LH’s heir apparent, but he hasn’t needed a competing teammate to LH until now, and no better time than at the start of this new chapter to get GR started there. I don’t think TW’s decision depended on the randomness of LH getting COVID which precipitated GR’s one-off run. GR was already a Mercedes junior driver for a reason.

      3. @pmccarthy_is_a_legend Bottas is one of the most underrated drivers in F1. Just because he’s not been able to beat arguable the best driver in F1 ever doesn’t mean he’s not top 5 material himself.

        1. Not with such a competitive grid, at this point hamilton, russell, norris, leclerc, verstappen are all far superior to bottas, then you have ricciardo, who struggled this year but proved to be stronger the other years, then you have vettel, who as bad as he’s been sometimes showed a far superior racecraft.

          He’s probably mid tier in this grid.

          1. @esploratore1 Sure, Hamilton is proven to be ahead of Bottas. Russel probably too.

            At Red Bull Verstappen would destroy Bottas with all the privilege’s he gets, but in equal machinery, Bottas would beat Verstappen on qualifying. Then in the race Verstappen would need to make it past on equal machinery. Which is not so easy.

            Leclerc I’m not convinced is that great altogether. Way too many ups and downs and silly crashes. He was barely better than Vettel. Give Sainz a few more races to get used to the car and he might start to get ahead of Leclerc even.

            Norris you might be right. This season he does look to be doing well compared to a struggling Ricciardo. However In 2020 I don’t think Norris was that impressive so he’s hard to gauge. It could just be the car that has improved. Or rather Mercedes and Aston Martin being a second slower than last year due to the aero change impacting low rake cars so much more. Plus Renault dropping back. So he pretty much has the spot of “best of the rest” covered on his car advantage. Bottas would do the same.

            You might add Gasly and Ricciardo if they get the right car. Either way Bottas fits right in there with all these guys just behind the top.

    2. Being team mate with verstappen is the toughest job on the grid, since no one can perform decently; bottas can with hamilton.

      1. @esploratore1 Ricciardo didn’t have any trouble with it. It’s since the team is built around Verstappen and the car is specifically designed for him that the #2 driver has a hard time making do with what they get. Also you see Perez with old spec aero while Verstappen always gets the latest upgrades. It all adds up an undriveable car costs say half a second, a spec late on upgrades a few tenths, less support a few tenths extra. Easily a second in quali trim. In race trim they are largely tyre limited, so the difference would lower, but still it’s substantial.

  15. And of course bottas had to break all connections with Mercedes and toto…
    Oh wait…. No that only goes for albon of course.
    Toto needs all the input about the engine development at ferrari.

    1. To be fair it was RBR that asked that of Toto when he was looking for a seat for Ocon

  16. Can he now stop obeying team orders then?

    1. Only if he’s really keen on gardening.

  17. So with Nyck De Vries, Alfa Romeo will be a serious contender for the most uninspiring drivers line up title.

    1. I thought that Nyck was a pretty good interviewer and host at the F1 post show.

    2. Pat Ruadh (@fullcoursecaution)
      6th September 2021, 16:17

      I wouldn’t rule out Mick Schumacher for the second Alfa seat now that the Mazepin relationship is ‘irreparable’

      1. It would be a perfect combination @fullcoursecaution

    3. Well said.

    4. @tifoso1989 Naah, the team in red with Charles “so overrated” Leclerc and Carlos “a bit slower than that overrated guy” Sainz takes the cake. The only thing where Ferrari comfortably beats the opposition these days.
      May Kimi stay the reigning Ferrari WDC for years to come…

      1. @huhhii
        Why are you salty about Ferrari ? Raikkonen himself is still on good terms with the team.

        1. It’s insane really, criticizing leclerc who is a top 3 driver of the current grid, which is incredibly talented.

  18. petebaldwin (@)
    6th September 2021, 13:26

    I really, really hope Valtteri does well at Alfa Romeo. He doesn’t have the killer instinct nor the pace to compete with the top drivers but I also think he was thoroughly demotivated and has lost a lot of confidence playing 2nd fiddle to Hamilton. Hopefully in a car where no-one really expects that much, he’ll be able to have a good couple of years showing what he can really do when he’s happy, confident and unchained.

    1. I’m sure he’ll do well, like raikkonen till he got too old.

  19. A good driver, but no Nico Rosberg. Excellent second driver (dare I say ‘wingman’?) and one Red Bull can only be jealous of. I’m still surprised that he only got 9 wins since 2017 in cars that, on many occasions, were dominant. Being Lewis Hamilton’s team mate is no easy job, but his ambitions were (as it turned out) bigger than his talent. That only became cringy over the last two years (re: wingman), when the ‘promising talent’ title he brought from Williams really started to fade.

    1. Well Sochi 2018 was his until he handed it to Hamilton, that would be a nice round 10 had he got it…

      1. Absolutely, though that one win wouldn’t make that big a difference in the overall picture (but for the round number). I haven’t been a close Bottas-watcher over the years, but I assume that if, up till Sochi, more races would’ve been his as that one in Sochi was, he wouldn’t have been told to move over. It has always been a happy hunting ground for Valtteri though, I hope for him he can shine again this year.

    2. Nico Rosberg is better than BOT? He only won his WDC because he parked the car in monaco quali and LEW having more mechanical dnfs .

      It looks like Lewis seems to have two types of team mates

      The friendly relaxed types like Heikki Kovalainen and Valtteri Bottas

      Ruthless Backstabber politicking types:
      Rosberg, tactical contact, deliberately parking the car in Monaco
      Alonso: 2007 Hungary quali , not disavowing racist Spanish fans blackface at 2008 Barcelona pre season testing, insane paranoia that that Ron Dennis was sabotaging his WDC chances favoring Lewis so he snitched to the FIA resulting in Mclarens €100m fine, excluded from constructors championship and forced to self sabotage LEW 2007 WDC hopes (not pitting in china, mysterious gearbox problem in Brazil..) as part of their NDA punishment.
      Button: wiped Lewis out when LEW was going to overtake him(2011 Canada), close friends with team manager Martin Whitmarsh and positioned himself to get the best parts hence why he suffered less reliability DNFs than LEW, politicking with martin and the “the lads” to isolate LEW causing a toxic work environment at MTC so the team ended up favoring him and built the car to suit his driving style, Ron wasn’t there to keep the team in order because he was focusing on the road car division..

      I guess the last point worked out for LEW because he was forced out of the team to race for the ‘midfield’ Mercedes in 2013..

      I Hope RUS will be the ‘friendly type’ for his longevity in F1!

      1. That is a 2014 episode about rosberg parking..

      2. Also note that the friendly types were weak drivers, the more competitive ones were ruthless, I’m sure russell will be the 2nd if he wants to succeed.

  20. Unsurprising following all reports and rumors in recent weeks.

  21. Stephen Higgins
    6th September 2021, 13:44

    I would have thought it more likely Bottas would have gone back to Williams, and Mick Schumacher taking Kimi’s seat at Alfa.

    Oh well.

    1. True. Although Haas is also a Ferrari team and perhaps they convinced people that their 2022 car is going to finally be any good again.

      It’s even quite a question mark if Alfa or Williams will have the better car for 2022. Alfa started the 2021 season stronger than Williams, but seem to suffer from a total lack of updates due to their 2022 focus. Still Williams has steadily been improving over the last few years while Alfa seems to slip back further and further.

  22. Next year when Kimi is gone and it seems that HAM/RUS are teammates I just hope Toto knows what he is doing. Everybody wants to see sparks flying (no pun intended) but team chemistry will change after George comes. We saw how hard it was for Mercedes when Nico and Lewis went head to head. Next year will show if Toto and the team has learned anything over the last 8 seasons.
    Of course it is impossible to please everybody but if Russel does the same to Hamilton as Leclerc did to Vettel it will be a difficult season for Mercedes.

    1. I think that HAM will step down after 2022 maybe 2023 and takes Lauda’s place.

    2. @qeki That Leclerc vs Vettel situation in 2019 only existed because Ferrari were trying to stick to their no1 driver philosophy and picked the wrong driver to be no1. For 2020 they had no issues anymore did they?

      If Russell beats Hamilton comprehensively then I doubt Mercedes has an issue with that. I also don’t think Russell is a dirty driver like Rosberg. If they drive fairly there is no issue. It’s just that Rosberg kept going for lost overtakes where a normal driver would yield and then blame Hamilton for “pushing him off”. Or drive into Hamilton on purpose to “make a point”. Or “lose control” in qualifying. I see Russell more as the gentleman driver like Hamilton is.

  23. One finish driver will left in F1. And that one is at the edge of leaving. Finland used to have widespread representation in F1. And they just built FIA Grade 1 circuit. It’s just 2 hours away from Saint Petersburg on train. Igora Drive is a hour and 40 minutes with local train and a hour and 10 minutes in express. They could be in tandem week after each other.

    1. Any up-and-coming talent from Finland?

      1. petebaldwin (@)
        6th September 2021, 15:40

        No-one obvious on the horizon. There’s a kid called Taponen who is supposedly pretty good but he’s only 14 and has just started in single seaters (won his first race).

      2. Pat Ruadh (@fullcoursecaution)
        6th September 2021, 16:19

        Juri Vips could bring a lot of Estonians

      3. Ah, and Robin Raikkonen, obviously ☺️

  24. One of Bottas’ biggest weaknesses is his ability to overtake other cars.

    Many pundits have suggested that Mercedes’ car struggles in dirty air but Lewis has always been able to cut through the field like a hot knife through butter whereas Valtteri has frequently found himself stuck in the middle of the field.

    If that continues at Alfa then he’s likely to spend the rest of his F1 career outside of the points and towards the back of the field.

    1. @sonnycrockett

      One of Bottas’ biggest weaknesses is his ability to overtake other cars

      This is more a problem with the Mercedes car. It’s so fine tuned to running in free air that it’s very much hurt by dirty air.

      Bottas was actually quite good at overtaking in the Williams. Go see his magnificent Silverstone 2014 race with plenty of overtakes. Or his epic podium in Canada 2016.

  25. As rosberg put it when he was driving. Quote loosely: other drivers don’t have Lewis as their partner.. Quote end. However any1 of us as fans rates lewis, to the drivers past present and future. LEWIS is the benchmark. Botttas 1 lap pace is quick. His long runs need attention though. Maybe without lewis as a teammate he can find his mojo again.

    1. Lewis is the benchmark because he has a dominant car and a fairly weak teammate.
      There are other drivers such ass VER and ALO who would do the same.
      Next year should be more telling as he will be facing a talented young buck.

      1. But they haven’t and didn’t. A world of what ifs would have me as a billionaire. Unfortunately for me and you, we live in the real world.

  26. And just like this ,Max becomes Jenson Button

    1 WDC 2021 (if it ends that way ) and that’s it .
    Russel can destroy him

    Nice move Mercedes

  27. I’ve got to give everyone credit for how they’re handling the announcements.

    1. Let Kimi announce his retirement
    2. Let Bottas announce that he’s going to Alfa
    3. (assuming) Russell announces he’s moving to Merc

    Everyone gets a positive story about where they’re going next in life instead of the negative story that they’re getting forced out by a team like what happened with Vettel last year.

    1. AJ (@asleepatthewheel)
      6th September 2021, 15:42

      Vettel joining Ferrari in 2015 was a bigger negative spin. They literally left Alonso to fend for himself PR wise.

      1. It was Alonso decision to leave Ferrari though. He wasn’t forced out like Vettel

  28. Based on earlier posts where Toto said Albon couldn’t get a ride at Williams while he was under contract to Red Bull, apparently to protect Mercedes intellectual property. I can only assume that shortly after the announcement, Ferrari placed a call to Bottas to ask about the Mercedes engine.

  29. Based on Vasseur’s quote which wasn’t exactly glowing of Bottas as a fast racer, it seems Bottas will serve as the known “benchmark” role that Kimi served for evaluating Giovinazzi. It’ll be interesting to see who they bring in as the relatively inexperienced but quick driver.

    1. Kimi should’ve retired last year to be honest, he is too old and started to lose his edge years ago. Bottas is a great move and has the pace and experience to lead the team.

      I assume the 2nd driver will be a pay driver who brings huge money to subsidize the teams operation and BOTs high salary. Hopefully they don’t go for rolling road blocks like Latifi, hugo chávez backed crashtor maldonado and clown son of a Russian billionaire spoilt brat mazespin but it looks like they will take on the driver with the lowest talent but deepest pockets…
      Guanyu Zhou is guaranteed to race for an F1 team due to his infinite $ ccp backing and Alfas ‘owner’ Stellantis would like a chinese driver to appeal to the huge market there but hes on the Renault driver program so destined for Alpine. Maybe Roy Nissany? He beings rich Israeli government money to the team and Israel want a driver in F1 for propaganda/’nation branding’ reasons (Thailand done this with British born, raised and educated flag of convenience Alex Albon….)

      I hate talent less pay drivers because they cheapen the prestige of the pinnacle of Motorsport but with the signing of BOT the number 2 pilot will sadly be a rich pay driver for ‘Sauber Romeo’.

  30. Valteri will never become word champion, but he has already had a much more successful tenure in F1 than most drivers who made it to the top tier. 169 starts, tons of podiums, 9 wins, and likely at least several more seasons as leader in a smaller team. Pretty good stuff really.

    1. He is in his own ground when comparing him to his countrymen.
      Champions: Rosberg, Hakkinen, Raikkonen

      “Bottas territory” A lot of podiums handfull of wins: Bottas

      Point scorers: Lehto, Salo, Kovalainen

      And then two guys who participated in the weekend Mikko Kozarowitsky,
      Leo Kinnunen (who was succesful in other series. Won Daytona 24h in 1970)

  31. AJ (@asleepatthewheel)
    6th September 2021, 16:04

    Happy for Bottas! He’s a solid no.2 for a top team and a no.1 for a midfield team. Being LH’s team mate is no mean feat, but he still ran him close in quite a few qualifying sessions and the occasional race. With 4-possibly 5- WCCs to his name, including 2 amidst a Ferrari resurgence, he can leave Mercedes with his head high. It takes nerves of steel to be treated like the way he was, have your confidence take a battering, yet come back every weekend and perform. Hopefully with lesser expectations and a much more relaxed working atmosphere, he can regain his mojo and lead Alfa to the top of the midfield in coming years.
    I get the Fred connection, but can someone shed some light on why he wasn’t picked by/transferred to Williams considering they use Merc engines and appear to be on the rise of late?

    1. Maybe Williams are going in a different direction under new owners when they finally change the teams name.

      Huge problem for Williams is that Latifi is a liability, hes slow pay driver who does not deserve to tie RUS shoes but with him destined for Merc they cant risk two slow pay drivers who will negate any performance gains the team has made. a Bottas/Massa quality pairing with a good car would be ideal but are they more interested in results or €200m+ from a pair of rubbish pay drivers who will finish in the midfield?

  32. No doubt the years of being Hamilton’s wingman has drained his confidence as it has for many drivers in his position. It reminds me a lot of Massa’s final few years at Ferrari. Constantly being in his teammates shadow, the rolling 1-year contracts, the endless questioning from the media about whether he keeps his seat. Even if there’s no contractual obligation to serve in a support role by default, all of that would wear down anyone to the point where it’s just accepted.

    It’s hard to argue that leaving a top team is anything other than a step down, but I do expect this move to bring out the best in him, just as Massa’s move to Williams did. It’s a chance for him to enjoy racing again. Good move for Alfa, too, in keeping a proven winner in one of their cars. A good match all round.

  33. Bottas was too nervous and tense for a high pressure cooker like a championship fight in a championship team, and also had some underlying confidence issues where he just wanted to be liked which meant he really didn’t push back on anything and sadly became a doormat.

    It was a shame as he’s a likeable guy and I of course wanted the underdog to make it.

    I really hope he will have a second summer and bloom at Alfa Romeo, and I think he will. Especially as he’s still motivated to show those ‘who it may concern’.

    1. Bottas is a great driver but just doesn’t have the edge that Barrichello and post injury Massa suffered from , people expect him to destroy a 7xWDC champion and moan dismissing him as a failure when to no surprise that does not happen.

      Don’t forget that this season he is one of the most consistent drivers on the grid after HAM and VER. I am also sick of the double standard HAM is subjected to, unless BOT destroys HAM he is a submissive ‘failure’ but other inter team rivalries never get the same scrutiny like overrated perez who has been a complete waste of a RB seat and has not stood on the podium since June in arguably the fastest car on the grind..

  34. Currently don’t have time to check the comments or comment myself about this but remember some articles ago a certain mark thomson said bottas was staying, and linked a twitter post about mercedes confirming him? Too bad the post was of august 2020, not 2021…

    Just searching “bottas is staying” you’ll find it here and here

    is the twitter post confirming that!

    1. “or comment myself” If that’s not a comment I don’t know what is. :-)

  35. A Finn replaces another Finn. He’s such a nice guy, I want him to win a championship on that basis alone.

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