Sebastian Vettel admits that he would have liked for Valtteri Bottas to stay at Mercedes but predicts a happy future for him.
Bottas raced in his 101st and last race for Mercedes at the Abu Dhabi GP this year. He will move to Alfa Romeo racing, where he will team up with Guanyu Zhou from 2022 onwards. Bottas already took part in the post-season test with his future team but will officially join them after the new year.
4-time World Champion Sebastian Vettel praised Bottas’ character in a recent interview. The Aston Martin driver hailed the Finn as ‘straightforward’ and feels he would have done well if he stayed at Mercedes.
— Chris Medland (@ChrisMedlandF1) December 14, 2021
On the other hand, the 34-year-old also feels that Bottas will be happy at Alfa Romeo. The latter hasn’t had the smoothest of times in Brackley, despite winning 10 races with the Silver Arrows.
“Somehow I think it’s a shame that he has to leave Mercedes.” said Vettel
“But maybe the new regulations at Alfa Romeo in 2022 will help him, so that things will finally be more balanced in the field and he’ll have more chances.”
Sebastian Vettel praises Bottas for being one of the fastest drivers on the grid
Vettel praised the former Williams driver for being a commanding character on the F1 grid. He feels that Bottas will not have to play second fiddle to anyone at Alfa Romeo, which would keep him happy.
According to Seb, Bottas was treated relatively at Mercedes but also admitted that teaming up with Lewis Hamilton was not easy for the 32-year-old.
Team-mates no more. But we’ll always remember these days. 😊 pic.twitter.com/whstrVymvC
— Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS F1 Team (@MercedesAMGF1) December 19, 2021
“Valtteri is one of the most straightforward and honest drivers.” the German continued. “And above all, he is also one of the fastest drivers in the field. I’m happy that he can play a much more central role there than before.”
“Valtteri certainly didn’t always have it easy in his five years alongside Hamilton. But I am also sure that he was always treated fairly at Mercedes.” Vettel concluded.