Valtteri Bottas will drive for Alfa Romeo starting from the 2022 Formula One World Championship, the team said on Monday.
Bottas has signed a multi-year contract with Alfa Romeo and will replace fellow Finn Kimi Raikkonen at the backmarker squad. Raikkonen finally retires from F1 at the end of 2021, after 20 long years in the sport.
Bottas, who will drive alongside Antonio Giovinazzi at Alfa Romeo, currently drives for Mercedes-Benz AMG. Bottas started his F1 career in 2013 with Williams and made the move to Mercedes in 2017 after the sudden retirement of Nico Rosberg. However, he has failed to make much of an impact since joining the top team, although he does have nine wins, 17 pole positions and 63 podiums under his belt. He is currently third in the 2021 Drivers’ Championship.
Filling in for Bottas at Mercedes will be current Williams driver George Russell, Mercedes said on Tuesday. The promising driver impressed when he filled Lewis Hamilton’s seat at Mercedes for the 2020 Sakhir Grand Prix in Bahrain, coming close to achieving victory but ultimately missing out due to a pit stop error and puncture.
Russell started his F1 career with Williams in 2019 and has made some impressive drives, consistently outperforming his car. This was most recently seen at the 2021 Belgian Grand Prix where he qualified second in heavy rain at the Spa-Francorchamps circuit, outpacing Hamilton.
Russell will drive alongside Hamilton in 2022 as the sport introduces new technical regulations. A replacement for him at Williams is yet to be announced.