VETTEL ‘KILLS’ CLASS AND FAILS FIRST EVALUATION IN FORMULA 1 2022
Valtteri Bottas is on a real honeymoon with Alfa Romeo. After five years as Lewis Hamilton’s loyal squire at Mercedes – who took five Constructors’ titles during that period – the Finn set himself up for a new challenge at the Hinwil team and has been reaping the rewards, capitalizing on his leadership position at the team that remains. and the sole member on the 2022 grid, China’s Guanyu Zhou. And #77 expressed the joy he feels knowing that he is a very important person in the team.
“I feel like a big part of the team,” Bottas explained to English portal The Race. “And it’s been good to have the right authority over things. If I ask for something to happen, it happens. And everyone really listens, I was able to inspire other people like that,” Finn said.
“It’s a good and encouraging feeling in the team right now, with everyone working hard,” he said. “That’s what I tried to do, but of course the results – like in the first race, getting those points – you can see how good it was for people, and that helps,” he said.
Bottas highlighted the importance of listening to the new team (Image: Alfa Romeo)
Bottas went on to praise his direction so far at Alfa Romeo and emphasized the importance of no longer being seen as a support within the team, but a main character. The Finn avoided criticizing Hamilton, but admitted that the seven-time champion’s “massive” personality prevented Valtteri from playing a more important role during his time at Mercedes.
“I’m very happy with the way things are with the team and my role here,” he continued. “I feel like I’m not just driving. I feel like I’m more important. I’m not just a driver, but an important member of the team,” he said.
“Sure [se sente mais protagonista agora]”, admitted Bottas. “It was a little difficult in the past to move forward. And I think Lewis [Hamilton] He is a very dominant person in the team. It was clear that I could not have a role like him, as I am here”, he compared.
Guanyu Zhou takes advantage of Bottas’ experience to join Formula 1 (Image: Alfa Romeo)
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Bottas still believes in the work done in the Alfa Romeo garage and feels that his ideas on the mechanics or aerodynamics of the car, for example, are considered a top priority for the team. In addition, Finn has accepted leadership roles, including leading the team in establishing their own metrics.
“You get a clear understanding of each of the things,” explained Bottas. “That makes a difference. Of course it also happens naturally, because obviously my partner is a rookie and he relies a little on my opinion and my data to compare himself to me”, he revealed.
The presence of a rookie in the team has also been an example of how well Bottas has handled the leadership role. Known for being a great teammate – the best Hamilton has ever had, in the Briton’s own words – the Finn has shown that this also applies when it comes to someone less experienced than him.
Bottas sees Alfa Romeo in line to score points regularly (Image: Alfa Romeo)
“I want us to be two strong teams,” Bottas said. “That’s why I want to help him, because I want both of us to be able to get points,” he said.
In the first three races of the championship, Bottas has already managed to raise the level of Alfa Romeo in the championship. The Finn suffered from the reliability of the C42 at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, but managed to finish in the points in the other two races – even leaving former team-mate Hamilton behind in the standings in Jeddah. Therefore, the experienced pilot admitted that the beginning has been better than expected.
“Yes, based on the performance we have, absolutely yes. [tem sido melhor]”, he admitted. “I really thought the team would make a step compared to the last few years, but it’s a good step. And you know, you can fight with Mercedes, for example, maybe it’s more than I could have imagined,” he admitted.
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