Alfa Romeo has confirmed the signing of Finnish driver and current Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas for the 2022 season and beyond.
The Hinwil-based team confirmed the news on Monday after speculation over the Finn’s future gathered pace before the Dutch Grand Prix. This follows the announcement of current Alfa driver Kimi Raikkonen’s retirement from F1 at the end of the 2021 season.
“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,” said Bottas. “Alfa Romeo is a brand that needs no introduction, they have written some great pages of Formula One history and it’s going to be an honour to represent this marque.
“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.
“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. I know Fred [Vasseur] 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.
“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.”
It it not known who will partner the 32-year-old at Alfa Romeo for next season with a number of candidates rumoured such as Ferrari Academy driver Callum Ilott and Mercedes Formula E driver Nyck de Vries. However, Alfa team boss Frederick Vasseur is looking forward to the experience that Bottas will bring to their team.
“It is a pleasure to welcome Valtteri to the team and we are looking forward to our journey together, said Vasser. “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.
“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: 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 One: we are excited for what the future holds in store.”