George Russell joins Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes
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Valtteri Bottas disagrees with Jenson Button as the Finn has explained the reasoning behind his decision to join Alfa Romeo over Williams in 2022. Bottas helped Mercedes towards an eighth consecutive Constructors’ Championship last season, ending his fifth year as a Silver Arrows driver on a high.
On an individual level, Bottas may have been left somewhat disappointed though, finishing almost 170 points behind eventual title winner Max Verstappen.
The 32-year-old improved over the second half of the year, however, finishing the Drivers’ Championship in third place, ahead of his Red Bull counterpart Sergio Perez.
Bottas was a broadly popular figure with team-mate Lewis Hamilton and the Mercedes garage as a whole, although he never truly threatened to snatch a world title.
As George Russell prepares to take his place for the coming season, Bottas had options, and he recently explained his choice to snub a Williams return in favour of a new adventure with Alfa Romeo.
“For me I think, realistically, for long-term at that point, with not so many options, it was either Williams or Alfa Romeo,” he told the Beyond The Grid podcast.
“It was not [an] easy decision. I tried to take as much information as I could from both sides, and at the same time, listen to my gut feeling.
“Just based on the decision, on information that I had, I really feel like Williams is on the upside now. I think they have a good future.
“But somehow I had a feeling that Alfa was the right thing for me.”
Bottas spent four years with Williams prior to his Mercedes switch in 2017.
But heading to Alfa Romeo is certainly a new venture for the 10-time race winner, partnering up with 22-year-old Chinese rookie Guanyu Zhou.
That means Bottas will likely take on a whole new role in 2022, as the more experienced spearhead of the team.
While the Finn was clearly enticed by the prospect, former world champion and Williams advisor Jenson Button believed that taking the other available option would have suited him better.
“It could be a complete swap around with Williams and Mercedes, I guess with George going to Mercedes and Valtteri coming to Williams,” Button told Planet F1.
“He’s been at Williams before and I’m sure it hurts to go to a team that isn’t fighting in front. But he would be great for Williams.
“He comes with a lot of experience and maybe he’d find his feet again and mentally he’d be in a better place.
“He’d also be at a team that doesn’t have Lewis Hamilton in it.”
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