Bottas excited to lead 'serious' Alfa Romeo push towards the front in F1

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Valtteri Bottas is excited by the prospect of leading Alfa Romeo in their push to be higher up the Formula 1 grid in the coming years.

This week, the worst kept secret in the paddock was finally confirmed when the Finn was announced by the Swiss team on a multi-year deal from 2022, paving the way for Mercedes to then announce George Russell's move from Williams the following day.

And ahead of this weekend's Italian Grand Prix at Monza, Bottas was asked when he was informed of Mercedes' decision to promote Russell.

“I never really like to share the details of how things went because it’s quite private the way things work,” he replied. “I can say that I knew before Spa what was about to happen.

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“Budapest was the last race before the summer break and, still at that point there were no decisions made but then, together, we made the decisions, during the summer, before Spa.”

Faced with finding a new seat, Bottas did have the option of returning to his former team Williams or Alfa Romeo, and he explained why the latter was ultimately his final destination.

"Because it's exciting" he declared, "it's a great brand, they have a great history in motorsport and based on the information I know, they can have a bright future and hopefully I can help that.

"It's something new, something exciting for me, and it's a bit of a project. There's going to be work to do but I will give all my expertise to try and improve them from this season, for sure.

"Realistically, to fight for wins next year is going to be unlikely, but you never know," he acknowledged.

"There is a regulation change, there's a big bunch of motivated people and I'll give it everything I can to get close to the front, or to the front, as soon as possible.

"It is a different kind of mentality, a different kind of approach. It's a bit of a project, and I'm keen to give my input.

"In the end, it was the way I wanted to go, and I'm glad we could make it happen," added Bottas. "I'm thankful for them to trust I'm going to be the right fit for the team.

"They are serious about the future. Alfa Romeo, as a brand, has committed for quite a few years. I don't want to share too much but we have high expectations, high goals and for me, that is really motivating."