Valtteri Bottas has confirmed his departure from Mercedes and is set to join the empty seat left by his Finnish countryman Kimi Raikkonen at Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN for the 2022 Formula 1 season. Bottas has signed a multi-year deal with the Hinwil-based racing team.
Breaking news! 🗞 @ValtteriBottas will join Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN for the 2022 season and beyond, with the Finnish driver signing a multi-year deal with the Hinwil-based team. pic.twitter.com/2XNeMtUGMn
— Alfa Romeo F1 Team ORLEN (@alfaromeoorlen) September 6, 2021
The nine-time Grand Prix winner joins Alfa Romeo as the single-seater motorsport competition embarks on a transition to a whole new ear of racing for the next season. With the major regulations changed to provide a unique opportunity for drivers to showcase more competitive racing while continuing to keep safety as the top priority in 2022 as well.
— Formula 1 (@F1) September 6, 2021
“A new chapter in my racing career is opening,” said Bottas. “I’m excited to join Alfa Romeo for 2022 and beyond for what is going to be a new challenge with an iconic manufacturer,” said Valtteri Bottas, reports Motorsport.
I would like to thank @MercedesAMGF1 for the 5 years together. We have achieved quite some things, that I will never forget. And hey, we have still this season to Win! Let’s get it 💪https://t.co/2LOhwh1teb#VB77 @F1 pic.twitter.com/iMJljyTNNc
— Valtteri Bottas (@ValtteriBottas) September 6, 2021
Kimi Raikkonen’s retirement was the first news to break about the drivers market. Bottas will be reuniting with Fred Vasseur (current Team Principal of Alfa Romeo) whom he worked with at ART GP in F3 2009 and 2010. Bottas went on to win the GP3 championship in 2011 with Vasseur.
The departure of the Finnish moves the focus to the vacant seat at Mercedes as fans expect the Williams driver George Russell to occupy the seat along with the seven-time World Champion and fellow countryman Sir Lewis Hamilton later on this week.