Valtteri Bottas joined Mercedes in 2017 and completed five seasons alongside Lewis Hamilton. During these seasons, he played an excellent partner to Lewis as he went on to win 4 championships, and the team won all 5 constructors’ championships. And as Valtteri Bottas’ contract came to an end, the driver had the choice to join either of the Alfa Romeo and Williams, as Mercedes had decided to bring on George Russell.
And, as we all know now, the Finn decided to join the Italian team, Alfa Romeo. Later, the F2 driver Zhou Guanyu signed for the team. In a way, Bottas replaced Kimi Raikonnen, and Zhou replaced Antonio Giovinazzi. Bottas plays the role of the senior driver and a mentor for Zhou.
The team started off their 2022 season with a fresh pair. And despite several struggles during the pre-season testing, they kept their heads up. With all the feedback, they went on to have a strong start to the season. Bottas played a crucial role in keeping the team’s spirit high. His opening performance, in a not-so-fast car, boosted the team’s morale.
Why could Valtteri Bottas’ move prove to be a masterstroke?
As the team is looking for grooming a fresh talent, there’s no better option on the grid than Valtteri. He has the experience of driving for multiple teams and knows the sport inside out.
The signs that the team is loving Bottas came from their team principal Fred Vasseur. Earlier, he said, “He will be supportive with Zhou. The collaboration is more than good so far between them, they are really collaborating very well and that is important for Zhou.”
Valtteri adds plenty of value to the team. The driver has already helped the team reach its last year’s points in only the first three races. Despite an average car, he was able to put on good performances. The driver was unlucky in Saudi Arabia, otherwise would’ve bagged another P6, just like he did in Bahrain. If Finn manages to keep up with his performances, he can prove to be an invaluable asset to the team. His move to Alfa Romeo would then be seen as a masterstroke.