LONDON (Reuters) - Valtteri Bottas will leave Mercedes and race for Ferrari-powered Alfa Romeo in a multi-year deal from 2022, the Swiss-based Formula One team said in a statement.
The Finn’s departure clears the way for George Russell, 23, to leave Williams and join seven times world champion Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes in an all-British line-up.
“A new chapter in my racing career is opening,” said Bottas, a nine-times grand prix winner, who will replace retiring compatriot and 2007 world champion Kimi Raikkonen.
“I am relishing the opportunity to help lead the team forward up the grid, especially with the new regulations in 2022 giving the team a chance to make a leap in performance.
“I’m grateful for the trust the team has put in me and I cannot wait to repay their faith: I’m as hungry as ever to race for results and, when the time comes, for wins.”
Bottas, 32, joined Mercedes from Williams in 2017 after the abrupt retirement of 2016 world champion Nico Rosberg and he said he was proud of what he had achieved alongside Hamilton.
“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 team mates,” he said.
Mercedes have won the last seven drivers’ and constructors’ championships.
Alfa boss Frederic Vasseur, who worked with Bottas when the Finn was coming through the junior series, said the driver had shown he was a strong team player.