Jenson Button says Valtteri Bottas' move in 2022 from championship winning F1 team Mercedes to lower tier outfit Alfa Romeo will be "a tough pill to swallow" for the Finn.
Mercedes has opted to promote long-time protégé George Russell to a seat with the Brackley squad next season, forcing Bottas to move on.
The 32-year-old's options in F1 were limited to Williams and to Alfa Romeo, and nine-time Grand Prix winner has elected to embark on a new challenge with the Swiss outfit.
However, Button believes that it's hard to consider Bottas' move from Brackley to Hinwil as anything else but a significant downgrade.
"Yeah, it’s always a weird one, when you go from a top team to a not-so-top team," Button said in an interview with Luxury London."It is a long-term contract for him, so it’s the first time he’s ever had that in F1.
"But still, it’s a tough pill to swallow. Now he’s got to get his head down and develop that team around him and hope they have the funding to move forward."
Alfa incumbent Antonio Giovinazzi who is fighting to retain his seat with Alfa Romeo for 2022 believes Bottas will fit in well with his future team and prove a worthy replacement for future retiree Kimi Raikkonen.
"For sure it is a different team from my first experience in 2017," Giovinazzi said. "With Kimi coming in 2019, he brought some good things from Ferrari and from his experience.
"This is what Valtteri will find and what Valtteri will bring, he is another experienced driver and comes from a team like Mercedes so I am sure he can bring good things to the team and can still improve year after year."