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Valtteri Bottas is moving from Mercedes to Alfa Romeo in the coming season.
The announcement of the Finn’s move paves the way for Mercedes to announce George Russell’s commitment to partner Lewis Hamilton from 2022.
Bottas said: “I am proud of what I have achieved at Mercedes and I am fully focused on finishing the job while we fight for another world championship.
“But I’m also looking forward to the new challenges that await me next year with an iconic manufacturer.”
Bottas moves to Alfa Romeo as an effective replacement for Kimi Raikkonen, the Retired from Formula 1 at the end of the season.
The news is the latest in a choreographed series of announcements, with Mercedes expected to confirm Russell’s signing in the coming hours or days.
Bottas has won nine races in five years since joining Mercedes in 2017 to replace German Nico Rosberg, who retired after winning the 2016 World Championship.
The 32-year-old has shown himself to be a capable replacement for Hamilton but has not been able to consistently challenge the seven-time champion.
Alfa Romeo said Bottas has signed a “multi-year contract” that is likely to last for at least two or three years.
Bottas said he believes the Alfa Romeo / Sauber facilities in Hinwil, Switzerland have “clear potential” and that he hopes the new technical regulations introduced by Formula 1 in 2022 “give the team one.” Would give a chance to make a leap in performance “.
After 13 races of the season, Alfa Romeo finished ninth in the constructors’ championship.
“I’m grateful for the trust the team has placed in me,” said Bottas, “and I can’t wait to repay your trust: I’m as hungry as ever for results and, when the time comes, for To drive victories. “
Alfa Romeo team boss Frederic Vasseur, who headed Bottas in the junior categories, said: “With him we are bringing a strong team player with experience at the top of the starting grid to Hinwil.
“Valtteri has been an integral part of a team that has rewritten the history books and has four constructors’ titles in his name: he is the right driver to help Alfa Romeo Racing move one step forward towards the top of the grid do.
“Our relationship goes back a long way, when we worked together on successful campaigns in Formula 3 and GP3, and his talent and skills have been evident ever since, growing over time and ability to work for the good of the team.
“The multi-year contract that brings him to us gives Valtteri and the team the stability we need to build our project at a crucial point in time for Formula 1. We are excited to see what the future holds in store.”
Alfa Romeo has not announced a second driver.
They are believed to be considering options that include their current driver Antonio Giovinazzi, former Red Bull driver Alexander Albon and Formula E world champion Nyck de Vries.
Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff said: “It was not an easy process and decision for us. Valtteri has done a fantastic job over the last five seasons and has made a significant contribution to our success and growth.”
“Together with Lewis, he built a benchmark partnership between two teammates in the sport and that has been a valuable weapon in our championship fights and has given us unprecedented success.
“He absolutely deserves to stay with the team and I am delighted that he was able to choose an exciting challenge at Alfa next year to continue his career at the highest level in the sport. When the time comes, he will leave.” us with great benevolence from every single member of the team. “