Alfa Romeo F1 Boss Believes Bottas Is Emulating Hamilton’s 2013 McLaren Exit

Published 09/21/2021, 9:37 AM EDT


With the 2021 season heading towards its end, it was only a matter of time before George Russell was to be announced by Mercedes as their second driver. While it was pretty evident that Valtteri Bottas was to lose his seat, it was only a question of when. With none of the top teams having any openings for Bottas, it was Alfa Romeo who managed to convince and snatch up the Finn.

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And safe to say, they are glad to have Bottas with them. In fact. Alfa Romeo boss Fred Vasseur went to the lengths of comparing the move to Hamilton’s move to Mercedes from McLaren.

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Fred Vasseur managed to convince Valtteri Bottas to join Alfa Romeo on the pretext that after a poor run of form in 2018 and 2019, Alfa Romeo is slowly finding their footing in the game, with Antonio Giovinazzi, running within the top 10 quite a few times this season.

What did Vasseur have to say about Valtteri Bottas’ move? 

Vasseur wants the Alfa Romeo move by Bottas to represent the kind of move that Hamilton made in 2013 to Mercedes. However, he went ahead and explained that he was not comparing Alfa Romeo to Mercedes.

Formula One F1 – Italian Grand Prix – Autodromo Nazionale Monza, Monza, Italy – September 10, 2021 Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas after qualifying in pole position for the sprint qualifying Pool via REUTERS/Lars Baron

I’m not comparing the team with Mercedes!” Vasseur said. But the philosophy is similar. Picking a team that others don’t, because you’ve seen something appealing in them that others haven’t.

Lewis is incredibly fast”, said Vasseur. “The best driver of the last…I don’t know, perhaps the best driver! But probably the best move he did is when he left McLaren [for 2013]. And at this stage, everybody was shouting at him. ‘What is he doing? He is in the top team. Mercedes is struggling.’”

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Vasseur has long-term plans for Alfa Romeo

Fred stressed that it is a long-term project; it doesn’t matter where they are in 2020 or in 2021, with Bottas in their team, they are now looking forward to turning their fortunes around by 2023 or 2024. In a previous interview, he had said that he was willing to let Bottas be the leader of Alfa Romeo for the next few years.

Formula One F1 – Spanish Grand Prix – Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, Barcelona, Spain – May 7, 2021 Alfa Romeo Racing Team Principal Frederic Vasseur talks in the Team Principals Press Conference FIA/Handout via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS – THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVES

It is quite unlikely that the move will provide Bottas the same amount of success that Mercedes could provide Hamilton. But with the 2022 regulation changes incoming, nothing can be said for sure.

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Riddhi Mondal

99 articles

Riddhi Mondal is an F1 Author at EssentiallySports. Having previously worked as a student reporter at The Statesman, she is an ardent follower of all things F1. A nerd through and through, the complicated physics that goes into the cars is what drew Riddhi to the sport.

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