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This hasn't been an easy process or a straightforward decision, insists Wolff

NEWS STORY
06/09/2021

As Valtteri Bottas leaves Mercedes for Alfa Romeo, without actually naming his successor, Toto Wolff insists that dropping him in favour of Mr X wasn't "an easy process or a straightforward decision".

At least one cat is finally out of the bag, as Alfa Romeo has announced that Valtteri Bottas is to join the team in 2022 on a multi-year deal.

Though Mercedes has yet to announce his replacement (yawn), team boss Toto Wolff has paid tribute to the Finn.

"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."

"I am so proud of everything we have achieved together in my time with Mercedes," said Bottas, "and it is not over yet, because we have our biggest challenge so far to try and claim our eighth constructors' title," said Valtteri as he commented on the news of his move to Alfa Romeo.

"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."

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by Tom2681, 08/09/2021 10:35

"Bono, he is so much faster..."
Hamilton™, 2022."

Rating: Neutral (0)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

2. Posted by kenji, 07/09/2021 14:14

"What would be interesting, is to get sight of the contract. Everyone is expecting it to be an
'equal opportunity' document but IMO it's quite likely to have certain clauses that outline what he can and can't do. Usually these clauses appear to be quite unambiguous to outsiders but they can contain a series of 'events' that will restrict any freedom. This is so any legal challenges can be treated as null and void should a driver decide to go 'off point' re a restriction of trade. I would think that Hamilton is 'gushing' only because he's been awarded the status of ' El Primo Gatto' for a few more seasons and knowing that Russell will be collared for the foreseeable future. Then again I may be completely off with the fairies...let's wait and see.

"

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3. Posted by Great_white_shark, 07/09/2021 2:54

"@zoom I think it is a great decision. I think we are seeing that Lando, Charles, George and Max are the future and Lewis is struggling a little bit against Max. I think Mercedes' answer to Red Bull is George who was phenomenal in junior categories, unbelievable at Williams and he almost won a race when he jumped in Hamilton's car which didn't even fit him properly.

2022 brings in new regulations, a reset if you will, which is the best time to introduce a new talent since everyone will have to adjust to a new car anyway. I think it was a tough decision but certainly the right one to make. What is the point of a driver program if you don't give them a chance? Don't people like to see promising young drivers being given a chance? I think they do. I remember everyone rooting for George last year in Bahrain. It is good for the sport and for the fans "

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4. Posted by zoom, 07/09/2021 2:17

"I think Wolfe is going to rue this decision especially if Hamilton doesn't win #8 this year. Just don't see Russell being a team player who will follow team orders even it means his race is toast. Mercedes is all about Hamilton which is hard to quibble with since if Hamilton is not clearly the GOAT now he will be soon."

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5. Posted by kenji, 07/09/2021 2:09

"We live in a world of 'doublespeak' it seems. According to Wolff he 'would absolutely deserve to stay in the team'. Why then was he dumped? Is Wolff saying that it was Bottas's decision to leave for another [lesser] team and that Mercedes wanted him to stay? "

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6. Posted by Tardis40, 06/09/2021 20:51

"I hope george makes it clear that he won't be hamilton's lapdpg"

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7. Posted by Greg, 06/09/2021 17:51

"So. Is it George. We await Monza"

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