Valtteri Bottas explains Toto Wolff’s role in his decision to exit Mercedes

Find out what Lewis Hamilton’s former partner Valtteri Bottas had to say about exiting Mercedes and joining Alpha Romeo for 2022 season and how Mercedes boss Toto Wolff is involved in it

Valtteri Bottas with Toto Wolff and Lewis Hamilton
Valtteri Bottas with Toto Wolff and Lewis Hamilton

The 2022 Formula 1 season will host new rules and new regulations and will see a new set of drivers in the grid. Valtteri Bottas will move to Alpha Romeo as he ended his 5 years stint with Mercedes as Lewis Hamilton’s partner. Though having his best seasons in his F1 career he was unable to give a strong fight for the championship where his partner was successful in doing it 4 times in 5 years together with Mercedes.

The 2021 season was one of the lowest points Valtteri Bottas had as he finished P3 in drivers’ championship below champion Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton with 11 podiums which includes a Turkey GP win. Valtteri Bottas was often seemed fighting Red Bull’s Sergio Perez for p3 and had minimal impact in championship individually or as Lewis Hamilton’s partner. Valtteri Bottas moved Alpha Romeo after he failed to secure a deal which lasted more than1 year for the 6th consecutive time.

Valtteri Bottas recently expressed his opinion on leaving team Mercedes in ‘Beyond The Grid’ podcast saying the decision was, honestly like him and Mercedes boss Toto Wolff agreed. Valtteri Bottas explained that he wasn’t asked by the team to exit but decided to do it himself  as Mercedes failed to give him a 2-year contract .

It was honestly like we agreed. It was not like he told me. He knew that, at some point, we need to make decisions, and, already, I had decided myself that if I can’t get two years or more with Mercedes, I’m definitely going to go for something new ,” Valtteri Bottas said.

It was a simple question of, can he offer me more than two years, two years or more? And he said, no, he can’t at this moment, and then it was quite easy,” Valtteri Bottas added.

Valtteri Bottas say’s  George Russell was natural replacement for him at Mercedes  

Valtteri Bottas and George Russell
Valtteri Bottas and George Russell

Valtteri Bottas said George Russell was the obvious replacement for him as the Brit was with Mercedes for a long-time part of its Young Driver Programme (since 2017). Valtteri Bottas said Mercedes didn’t want to mis the opportunity to sign George Russell as their prodigy is still developing further and will become quicker in the future. Valtteri Bottas added that it’s all good for him and he is happy.  

Obviously, it was very natural to get George in the car, because he’s been kind of part of the team for a long time,” Valtteri Bottas said.

It’s a new generation, and that’s also how the sport is evolving. Mercedes, they’ve had this Young Driver Programme, and George has been in that for a long time,” Valtteri Bottas explained.

And for them to waste that opportunity, in case he obviously still develops further and becomes more experienced, and even quicker, they didn’t want to miss the opportunity. So, for me, it’s all good. For me, I’m really happy,” Valtteri Bottas added.

Valtteri Bottas will be hoping to get back to his top at Alpha Romeo and will also have to  play the mentor role for the only rookie driver for 2022, China’s Guanyu Zhou, his new partner. Valtteri Bottas will face strong criticism if he fails to deliver performances bettering his young teammate or else he faces instances where his Mercedes success being credited to the strong car he had with Mercedes.

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