Valtteri Bottas will leave Mercedes at the end of the season
Daniel Ricciardo insists Valtteri Bottas has used his experience in Formula One to “say the right things” ahead of his Mercedes departure.
Bottas announced he will be leaving the team for Alfa Romeo next season and has spoken highly of Mercedes and teammate Lewis Hamilton in the media. In addition, he has tempered expectations about his performance for his new team.
“He’s said all the right things,” said Ricciardo, per GP Fans. “We’ve been in the sport a similar time now, he has a lot of experience, he understands what’s involved in this sport.
“Making the switch now to Alfa, as he said, it’s another project and it’s probably going to take time.
“He’s saying the right things. He gets it, for sure, and he knows.”
McLaren driver Ricciardo, who had a spell at Alfa Romeo, has warned that Bottas should continue his realistic expectations at his new team, particularly because the Finn only has nine victories after five years at Mercedes.
“The expectation is a big one. Of course, you want to believe it’s going to be amazing from day one. But have a little bit of reservation and with that comes steady growth and some realism behind a new adventure.
“If it was easy, everyone would do it. Valtteri’s pretty modest anyway, so I think he’s alright.”
Bottas has the potential to grab more wins this season but Mercedes’ priority will be getting Hamilton valuable points as he trails rival Max Verstappen in the title race.
Heading into the Russian Grand Prix on 26 September, the British star is five points behind the Dutchman and their rivalry is heating up. The pair have already crashed into one another twice this season, at Silverstone and Monza, and Ricciardo has said Verstappen holds anger towards Hamilton.
He told the Pardon My Take podcast: “That’s [Verstappen]: He is a competitor, he’ll leave it on the track, and that’s it.
“I guess he still maybe was carrying a bit of anger or a little bit of frustration from Silverstone.”
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