Valtteri Bottas left Mercedes at the end of 2021 to join Alfa Romeo and be reunited with Fred Vasseur, under whom he raced in the 2011 GP3 Series.
Bottas, having won several races at Mercedes and now has a new challenge at Alfa Romeo. The quest at Alfa Romeo is a different one now that Valterri Bottas no longer has to compete for race victories and top-three finishes.
Having finished sixth in Bahrain and started the year strongly, the 33-year-old remarked he is enjoying his new environment during race weekends, thanks to a less stressful atmosphere.
Speaking to the Italian edition of Motorpsort.com, he explained: “The context I’m in now is less ‘company’ and more racing team, but everyone’s motivation is the same.”
“It was very nice to start the season right away by winning points in Bahrain, I think that weekend gave an extra boost, the team realised that there would be other races where we would be able to finish in the top 10.
“That ‘boost’ is still there, when we don’t get points I see the team disappointed, and that’s the spirit.
“Then, of course, the targets are different to what I had to achieve last year, but in the end the approach is the same, in 2021 the target was to win, today it’s top 10.”
Bottas has had trouble finishing two of the last three races, losing one because of a technical problem and crashing the other. When asked how much those technical issues had hampered his season, he responded, “enough.”
“I haven’t finished two of the last three races, in Spa due to an accident and in Zandvoort due to a technical problem. Reliability is a top priority for us, as it is also for Ferrari, but there is still work to be done.”
The Finn further said it was gratifying for him to be able to impart his knowledge to Zhou Guanyu, who is making his Formula 1 debut with Alfa Romeo, and to be the senior driver in the team.
“It was a natural transition, considering my teammate is a rookie,” the 33-year-old said. “Obviously during the season he asked me a lot and I was happy to be able to help.
“Regarding my role in the team, coming from Mercedes I made available what I learned in a top team and it was gratifying for me to be able to do my part and make myself available to the team.”