Lewis Hamilton has paid a glowing tribute to “the best team-mate” he has had, Valtteri Bottas, who is joining Alfa Romeo.

The news that had become something of an open secret was finally confirmed on Monday lunchtime, with Alfa Romeo announcing Bottas would drive for them on a “multi-year” deal from 2022.

In turn, that frees up George Russell to make the step up from Williams and join Hamilton in an all-British line-up for the seven-time consecutive Constructors’ World Champions when F1’s new era of regulations begins next year.

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff had already issued a highly complimentary parting message to Bottas in the official confirmation of the Finn’s departure, saying it had not been “an easy process or a straightforward decision” to see him leave at the end of this season.

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