Bottas joined Alfa Romeo for the 2022 season after a five-year stint with Mercedes that earned him five constructors ‘championship wins and saw him finish second in the drivers’ standings in 2019 and 2020.
The move to Alfa Romeo came following Mercedes’ decision to recruit junior driver George Russell to their squad for this year to team up with seven-time world champion Hamilton. Hamilton has won four world championships and 50 races in his five years racing alongside Bottas, whom he hailed as the best teammate he has had in F1.
Bottas has signed a multi-year contract with Alfa Romeo, giving it greater stability after having always been retained season by season by Mercedes.
Alfa Romeo team manager Vasseur said he was convinced the move would be “helpful” for Bottas, even though he is no longer regularly competing for the top wins.
“When you’re a driver I can fully understand that it’s probably a better feeling to fight for pole position,” Vasseur told Autosport.
“But on the other hand, he will be at the center of our project. It will be a pillar of the team’s development.
“It’s probably not exactly like that at Mercedes, because he’s always been a bit of Lewis’s shadow.
Valtteri Bottas, Alfa Romeo C39 mule
Photo by: Jerry Andre / Motorsport Images
“He will have to bring his own experience and be a key factor in the development of the company and the team. This, for sure, will give him more responsibility.
“But I think he’s mature enough to take it as a commitment, or a responsibility, let’s say. It will help Valtteri’s development as well, for sure.
Bottas is expected to serve as Alfa Romeo leader alongside rookie Guanyu Zhou in 2022, bringing the Mercedes experience which Vasseur said would be an “asset” to the team.
“Even though the car’s philosophy will be different, the way you approach the weekend, the way you handle the weekend, bringing a different vision, that will still be helpful,” said Vasseur.
“On top of that I think he will adapt perfectly to the mentality of the team. I have no doubts it will be a good push.