Following his five-year association with F1 team Mercedes, Valtteri Bottas has described how his departure was chosen.
When the announcement was made in September 2021, speculation was rife for months as to whether or not he would leave the team to join Alfa Romeo on a multi-year contract.
Meanwhile, George Russell would join Lewis Hamilton’s team as a replacement for Bottas.
Mercedes team chief Toto Wolff and Bottas came to this decision together, according to the Finnish. At one point, Bottas said on the Beyond The Grid podcast, “It was honestly like we agreed.”
His departure from Mercedes brought with it a bitter-sweet feeling having been with the team for five years. So, what transpired? Who is this F1 legend who barely gets recognition? Sportsleo tells it all.
Why Did Valtteri Bottas Leave Mercedes?
Despite the fact that the Silver Arrows considered promoting George Russell, Bottas for a while knew that his time at Mercedes was timing out.
Russell was impressive as a stand-in for Lewis Hamilton in Bahrain last year. But a pit stop mix-up and a flat tyre robbed him of victory. After that, he put in a series of impressive displays for Williams, including a win at Spa, when the Briton constantly outperformed the car.
Toto Wolff, the CEO of Mercedes, couldn’t help but notice. Bottas and his management team initiated negotiations with Williams and Alfa Romeo after no communication with Mercedes.
Bottas signed an agreement with Alfa Romeo after Mercedes informed him that he would no longer be needed. Like gentlemen, they said their goodbyes publicly and amicably as Bottas announced his new home publicly.
Who Was on Mercedes Before Bottas?
Following Mercedes Executive Paddy Lowe’s resignation, Mercedes confirmed his departure on January 10, 2017. It is then that the F1 team announced that Bottas would be Rosberg’s replacement.
Bottas made his F1 racing debut in 2013 – for Williams.
He replaced Nico Hulkenberg as the team’s test and reserve driver in 2010 after joining the team. He participated in practice sessions for 15 of the 20 races he competed in after winning the GP3 championship in 2012.
Due to a ban on in-season testing at the time, Bottas felt this was the best training a rookie driver could have. He replaced Bruno Senna after the team endorsed him.
During the Australian Grand Prix in 2013, Bottas made his Formula One debut becoming the sport’s ninth Finnish driver to compete. He had a tough start to the season, but at least he outscored his teammate Pastor Maldonado by four points to one.
In qualifying for the Canadian Grand Prix, Bottas put in a masterful performance on a drying track to secure P3 on the grid. He finished eighth in the United States Grand Prix to earn his first points in Formula One.
For the 2014 season, Williams had a new engine supply, and Bottas returned to driving a Mercedes for the first time since his Formula 3 days. For the first time, he finished a season in the top tier of Formula One with six podium appearances.
What Car Does Valtteri Bottas Drive?
Before his exit from the Toto Wolff led team, Bottas drove a Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport.
He raced in this vehicle since 2017 when he joined Mercedes.
For his personal car collection, the ex-Finnish army Lance Corporal drive a Mclaren 675LT. The piece of British motor engineering is worth around $350,000.
Bottas also drives a Ferrari F40 – the 1992 model. This V8 twin-turbocharged engine and a five-speed manual costs $ 700,000.
Bottas’ third personal car collection is a Mercedes Benz C63 AMG estimated to cost $113,000.
And his all-time love remains the 1 Mercedes AMG GT. This piece of fine engineering my Daimler-owned Mercedes costs $112,000.
Is Bottas Going to Retire?
As his prospects of winning races declined with the Italian squad, Bottas assures his fans he had no intention to retire. At least, not before giving a shot with Alfa Romeo.
Nevertheless, Bottas says he never truly contemplated leaving Formula One after Mercedes’ departure at the conclusion of the 2021 season.
After a five-year stint with Mercedes with Lewis Hamilton, the Finn switched to Alfa Romeo for the 2022 season.
Although he had his glorious years with Mercedes, Bottas was never comfortable playing second fiddle to Hamilton. The seven-time F1 champion’s success always overshadowed Bottas.
However, the Finnish F1 racer admits that Mercedes treated him well overall.
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