There is no refusing that Valtteri Bottas has been one of the most important parts of Mercedes’ success in F1 since 2017; Mercedes have secured 8 titles since Bottas’ entry into the team.
The Finn, on several occasions, opted to be a team player rather than challenging his own teammate, Lewis Hamilton. And this unselfish attitude has often gifted Mercedes with big points against their constructor rivals.
However, since the start of this season, there has been a swift transition in Mercedes’ prioritization of Bottas. It looked like the Brackley outfit was finally starting to look for options beyond Bottas, and of course, there was one in George Russell.
Consequently, a rumor blew up that Bottas is eying a move to Alfa Romeo, by replacing Kimi Raikkonen. So, how far is this rumor true? Well, although Mercedes’ boss and Bottas’ manager, Toto Wolff, didn’t comment much on the matter, he also refused to deny the rumor.
What did Toto Wolff say?
As reported by Motorsport, the Austrian was asked to comment on the rumor surrounding Bottas’ switch to Alfa Romeo, come 2022. However, Wolff skillfully dodged the question, saying “The Quadrifoglio is a good car!
“Valtteri has speed, has character, and is a team player, a very important aspect in the dynamics of a team,” Wolff further added.
Formula One F1 – Steiermark Grand Prix – Red Bull Ring, Spielberg, Styria, Austria – June 26, 2021 Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas after qualifying in second place REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger
Raikkonen has been showcasing visible struggles, as opposed to his teammate, Antonio Giovinazzi, at Alfa Romeo. Hence, the 41-year-old, being the oldest F1 driver on the grid, might soon announce his retirement from the sport.
And this will leave Bottas with a bright chance of continuing his career in F1. What’s more, the Italian outfit will be pleased to rope in the Mercedes driver, as he may well be aware of the team’s secrets that could potentially shoot Alfa Romeo to glory amidst the approaching 2022 regulations.
Is Alfa Romeo F1 the right place for Valtteri Bottas?
The answer is yes. The Finn is going through a rough patch with Mercedes, having to oblige to team orders occasionally. Hence, Bottas will be itching to race as the number 1 driver, or at least see himself treated equally as his teammate.
Formula One F1 – Monaco Grand Prix – Circuit de Monaco, Monte Carlo, Monaco – Alfa Romeo’s Antonio Giovinazzi in action during practice REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes
That was the case during his phase at Williams. Bottas was quite impressive during the mid-2010s, racing alongside Felipe Massa. Hence, one can definitely rest high hopes on Bottas following his likely switch to Alfa Romeo next season.
So, will the 9-time Grand Prix winner manage to re-ignite his old form from the start of next season? Well, we’ll know in time.
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