Bottas will move to Alfa Romeo from Mercedes next season as an effective replacement for his compatriot Kimi Raikkonen, who is retiring from F1 at the end of the year.

The Finn has agreed a “multi-year” deal to become the Swiss-based outfit’s de-facto team leader, a role that Vasseur believes he will flourish in once as he steps out of the shadow of current teammate Lewis Hamilton.

“He is very motivated,” Vasseur told “They won eight championships together. He was always known as Lewis’ team mate.

“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.

"He has to take the responsibility of the team on his shoulders. It could be a new chapter and I hope perhaps he will also benefit from this environment.”


Bottas has won nine races and taken 17 pole positions during his five-year stint at Mercedes and has played a key role as the German marquee racked up successive world championship doubles.

Vasseur reckons landing the 32-year-old’s signature is a huge coup for his team, which is looking to capitalise on F1’s regulation revolution and move itself further up the grid.

“He did a very strong job with Mercedes over the last years and with Williams before,” Vasseur explained. “If you have a look at what he did in terms of pure performance, he’s probably the closest guy to Lewis.

“This is a huge asset for us and he will bring us also all the experience of winning titles. We are taking it as a huge opportunity for the future of the company.

“I know the guy is dedicated, I know he is more than professional,” Vasseur added. “The speed is there. If you compare with Lewis, he is the closest guy of Lewis. And Lewis is an absolute reference for me.

“Altogether, I think he is the perfect package for us.”