Bottas looking forward to 'interesting new era' with Alfa Romeo

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Valtteri Bottas says he's excited by the prospect of joining Alfa Romeo next year and putting his expertise to work to help move the Swiss outfit up the grid.

Bottas' transfer from Brackley to Hinwil was confirmed earlier this week, with the Finn replacing at Alfa his countryman and fellow seasoned racer Kimi Raikkonen who will head into a well-deserved retirement at the end of the season.

"It is a great brand, they have a great history in motorsport," said Bottas, speaking in Monza on Thursday. "I feel like, based on 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, no doubt there’s going to be work to do. But I will give all my expertise I can to try and improve from this season for sure."

Bottas conquered all of his nine career wins in F1 during his five-year stint with Mercedes. As such, he's tenure with the Brackley squad has been a productive association.

But his inability to consistently give Lewis Hamilton a run for his money or to challenge the Briton for the world title has kept the Finn in the seven-time world champion's shadow according to Alfa team boss Fred Vasseur.

"They won eight championships [Drivers and Constructors titles] together," Vasseur told "He was always known as Lewis’ teammate.

"The new chapter with us is that he has to become the leader. I don’t want to have a situation of number one and number two but at least he won’t be in the shadow of someone.

But Bottas took exception with Vasseur's  "in the shadow" characterization.

"I don't know about the shadow," said the Finn. "Obviously if you look at the results overall, Lewis has been able to beat me every year, so in that sense, yes I have been in the shadow but I don't really feel it that way.

"We are a team, and we are now in this together, unfortunately, I am not fighting for the drivers' world championship anymore this year, I'm just fighting for the constructors and that's the way it is.

"But it'll be a fresh start for me, and whoever my team-mate will be, I hope we can work well together, but it's an interesting new era for me."

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