Swapping from Mercedes to Alfa Romeo, Valtteri Bottas says “you just never know” if Ferrari could be in his future.
After five years with Mercedes, Bottas is off to Alfa Romeo next season where he will replace the retiring Kimi Raikkonen.
The Finn’s swap means he’ll be racing a Ferrari-powered car for the first time in his Formula 1 career.
And he hasn’t ruled out a closer collaboration with the Scuderia potentially opening the door to a move to Ferrari.
“I can’t predict the future,” he told the Beyond The Grid podcast, “and with this sport you never know what happens, you just never know.
“At least for the next few years I’ll be with Alfa Romeo and that’s a thing I’m looking forward to.
“But I still have time in Formula 1, and you never know.”
— PlanetF1 (@Planet_F1) November 11, 2021
Next year’s championship will, at least on the strength of this year’s, be a lot different to what Bottas is used to.
While the Finn has spent the past five seasons fighting at the front of the field, taking 10 race wins in the process, next season scoring points will be the main objective.
Bottas though believes in the Alfa Romeo project, adamant the team has all the “ingredients” needed to work their way to the front of the pack.
“There is work to do definitely,” he said. “Obviously the good thing with Formula 1 in the future is the budgets with the teams will be the same or if there are differences they are quite minimal.
“Alfa Romeo has agreed to support the team at least for the next two years. They have really talented engineers, a great factory, great wind tunnel, they have a good simulator that still has some work to do and I can help with that.
“I see all the ingredients are there for much, much better results than they are doing now and I believe this regulation change now that is happening is a great opportunity.
“With the knowledge I have, how early the team switched to development of the new car, and with what I have seen so far, I’m confident that if we work hard and together than anything is possible.”
Alfa Romeo team boss Fred Vasseur has already stated that Bottas will be the team “leader”, the Finn expected to drive the team’s charge back into F1’s midfield and hopefully higher.
Bottas is adamant he’s “ready” for the challenge.
“For sure it will be very interesting, getting to know the people and bringing up the team atmosphere,” he said.
“And yes for the first time I’ll probably have more responsibility in a team than I have ever had and that for me is a good feeling.
“I’m ready for that. It is going to be my tenth season in Formula 1 and yeah I’m ready to take the lead, build the team around and wish for great things together.”