Mercedes Team Principal Toto Wolff says not renewing Valtteri Bottas’ contract for 2022 wasn’t an easy decision for the team to make.
Bottas will depart Mercedes at the end of the 2021 campaign and join Alfa Romeo, replacing the retiring Kimi Raikkonen.
It is expected that George Russell will occupy the now-vacant 2022 seat at Mercedes.
Bottas joined Mercedes in 2017 alongside Lewis Hamilton, and heavily contributed towards its ongoing championship success.
Across his five-year stint with Mercedes, the Finn has taken nine grand prix wins, 17 pole positions and 54 podiums with the Brackley-based squad.
“This hasn’t been an easy process or a straightforward decision for us,” Wolff said. “Valtteri has done a fantastic job over the past five seasons and he has made an essential contribution to our success and to our growth.
“Together with Lewis, he has built a benchmark partnership between two team-mates in the sport, and that has been a valuable weapon in our championship battles and pushed us to achieve unprecedented success.
“He would absolutely have deserved to stay with the team, and I am pleased that he has been able to choose an exciting challenge with Alfa next year to continue his career at the top level of the sport.
“When the time comes, he will leave us with huge goodwill from every single member of the team, and he will forever be part of the Mercedes family.”
Bottas twice finished runner-up to team-mate Hamilton in the drivers’ championship in 2019 and 2020, having finished third and fifth in 2017 and 2018 respectively.