Valtteri Bottas’ successful spell at Mercedes and knowledge of the multiple world championship winning team makes him the perfect driver to move Alfa Romeo forward, according to Frederic Vasseur.
Alfa Romeo has signed Bottas to replace Kimi Raikkonen, who will retire from Formula 1 at the end of the season. In farewelling a world champion with 21 race wins to his name, the Sauber-run team loses a driver with huge experience, but Bottas has taken nine wins at Mercedes since joining in 2017, helping the team win four consecutive championship doubles in that time.
Next year’s new regulations in F1 create the potential for the pecking order to be reshuffled, while a budget cap is designed to keep the grid closer. The Alfa Romeo team principal believes those provide opportunities that Bottas can help exploit.
“It is a pleasure to welcome Valtteri to the team and we are looking forward to our journey together,” Vasseur said. “With him, we bring to Hinwil 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: he is the right driver to help Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN make a step forward towards the front of the grid.”
Bottas drove for Vasseur’s ART Grand Prix team in his junior career, winning the GP3 title in 2011, and the Frenchman said he is excited to now work with the Finn in F1.
“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,” he said. “I’m really looking forward to seeing him put his ability to work for the good of the team.
“The multi-year deal bringing him to us gives both Valtteri and the team the stability we need to build our project at a crucial time for Formula 1. We are excited for what the future holds in store.”