Toto Wolff says Bottas “will forever be part of the Mercedes family”

© LAT Images for Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Ltd

Valtteri Bottas will leave Mercedes at the end of the year to go to Alfa Romeo. Bottas and team boss Toto Wolff give their first comments on the departure.

After Alfa Romeo announced the signing of Valtteri Bottas for 2022 and beyond, Mercedes came out with their own press release.

“At the end of the 2021 Formula One season, Valtteri Bottas will leave the Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team after five highly successful seasons,” Mercedes wrote.

“We will bid farewell to a brilliant team-mate and colleague, as he moves on to a new chapter in his F1 career at Alfa Romeo Racing.

“Valtteri joined the team at the beginning of 2017 and to date, he has scored nine race wins, 54 podiums and 17 pole positions with us.

“His contribution to the team has been immense, with his passion, dedication, and Finnish fire out on track playing a pivotal role in Mercedes winning four consecutive Constructors’ Championships.

“Furthermore, Valtteri’s partnership with Lewis Hamilton will be recorded as one of the most successful in the sport’s history.

“But for now, we continue to focus on the fight we have across the remainder of this season as we bid to claim our eighth consecutive Drivers’ and Constructors’ championships,” concluded Mercedes.

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As part of the press release, Valtteri gave his comments on the move.

“I am so proud of everything we have achieved together in my time with Mercedes – and it is not over yet, because we have our biggest challenge so far to try and claim our eighth constructors’ title,” the Finn said.

“When I look back on my time with Mercedes, I want to be able to say that I squeezed every drop out of this opportunity and left nothing on the table; and I want to make sure that we finish our time together as champions.

“It has been a privilege and a great sporting challenge to work with Lewis, and the harmony in our relationship played a big part in the constructors’ championships we won as teammates.

“Later this year, the time will come to say goodbye -that’s not for now, but I would like to thank Toto and the team for the respect in how we took the decision together.

“I am really pleased to have chosen my new challenge with Alfa Romeo, an exciting and iconic manufacturer, and by the opportunity to help lead the team forward up the grid.

“I’m as hungry as ever to race for results and when the time comes, for wins. But for now, my mission is clear: maximum attack for Mercedes, all the way to the final lap in Abu Dhabi.”

Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff said the decision to part ways was not an easy one to make.

“This hasn’t been an easy process or a straightforward decision for us,” said the Austrian.

“Valtteri has done a fantastic job over the past five seasons and he has made an essential contribution to our success and to our growth.

“Together with Lewis, he has built a benchmark partnership between two team-mates in the sport, and that has been a valuable weapon in our championship battles and pushed us to achieve unprecedented success.

“He would absolutely have deserved to stay with the team, and I am pleased that he has been able to choose an exciting challenge with Alfa next year to continue his career at the top level of the sport.

“When the time comes, he will leave us with huge goodwill from every single member of the team, and he will forever be part of the Mercedes family,” concluded Wolff.

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