Valtteri Bottas will have a completely different challenge inside formula 1 in 2022. After five years as Lewis Hamilton’s ‘faithful keeper’ at Mercedes, the Finn will be tasked with leading Alfa Romeo alongside the only rookie on the grid, Chinese Guanyu Zhou. And his new team boss for 2022, Frédéric Vasseur, believes the task will be more difficult than Toto Wolff’s team. This is because, in Hinwil’s team, the number 77 will not have Hamilton by his side to guarantee points.
“The role is bigger,” Vasseur said. “If you look, Mercedes have won the last six or seven championships. [a equipe alemã, na verdade, foi campeã dos últimos oito Mundiais de Construtores]. Sometimes only with Lewis points [Hamilton], they would be the champion team. It means that when you are teammates with Lewis, you are in the shadow.
Bottas entered as a starter in the formula 1 in 2013 by Williams. His first companion was the Venezuelan Pastor Maldonado, in a partnership that lasted one year. In 2014, 2015 and 2016, Valtteri’s double in the Grove team was the experienced Brazilian Felipe Massa, before switching to Mercedes in 2017. Therefore, Zhou will be the first team-mate with the least experience that the Finn will have in his career.
“You don’t know what the expectations are. It’s okay, you have to work hard, but there is no such thing as an absurd responsibility”, he continued. “I think now, Valtteri [Bottas] He’s at the point in his career where he can handle it.”
Finally, the Frenchman added that he expects duties from Bottas that are not limited to driving throughout the season formula 1 – by the way, the biggest in the history of the division. The manager wants Finn to be involved in several aspects of the team, and is relying on the experience of those who have won the last five Constructors’ World Cups to give Alfa Romeo success.
“Valtteri is not just a driver, he is responsible for his teammate’s performance,” explained Vasseur. “I mean you have to bring your partner with you, you have to participate with engineering, in the factory, in the wind tunnel, to motivate the simulator driver”, listed the Alfa Romeo boss.
“If you think someone’s down for ten weeks straight, you can approach them and say, ‘Come on, let’s get up, let’s go upstairs.’ This position is important,” he said. “And Valtteri is ready for all this”, he concluded.