By hiring Valtteri Bottas, would Alfa Romeo hire more than a driver, but also an element of planning for future team growth? Indeed, as a former Mercedes driver, Finn knows some of the keys to many of the world champion teams – many sources of inspiration for Hinwil.
Clearly, Valtteri Bottas has put on his new boots with ease: the former “wingman” has become one of the pioneers of the Alfa Romeo project in this new regime.
“I feel like I’m part of a team and it’s good to have real control over what’s going on.”
“When I ask for something, it happens, and everyone really listens to me. And I was able to motivate some people.”
“I am very happy with the way things are going with the team and my role. I feel like I’m not just driving. I feel like a little more than that. »
“I am not only a driver, but also an important member of the team.”
This is in stark contrast to the Mercedes era, where Valtteri Bottas was sometimes seen as a pawn among others on the Anglo-German chessboard. He easily agrees …
“It has always been very difficult in the past to accelerate. And I think Lewis too, in the team, is a man who rules in a certain way.”
“It was clear that I could not have the same position I have here.”
The best environment?
With Alfa Romeo, Valtteri Bottas is very entertaining, and he is lucky to have a high performance car at the right time for him. Up to the point of making fun of his old Mercedes in the race … Is this the state of his dreams, this beginning of the 2022 season?
“Yes, in terms of the basic functionality we have, absolutely.»
“I really hoped it would be a high point from previous years. But really, it is a good step. And, you know, being able to fight a Mercedes for example is probably more than I could have imagined.”
“Now once we can resolve issues of dependency, then I see no reason why we could not fight for points and sometimes even good points in every race.”
“I would say the strongest feeling was after graduating in Bahrain, because you see where you are.”
“I feel a little happier in life in general.”
And yet Valtteri Bottas did not think he could adjust to his new environment.
“When I joined the team, when I saw different team values in some of the drawings and so on, I said, ‘Wow, this is not going to be easy.
“But it really went well and I enjoy everything. I still can’t say 100% in terms of getting more out of certain settings, but I’m not far off.”
“It’s really interesting. Also because we were able to adjust the car to suit my driving style.”