Valtteri Bottas says his involvement in Alfa Romeo’s Formula 1 operation away from the track is unlike anything he experienced previously in Formula 1.
The 33-year-old began his F1 career in 2010 as a test driver at Williams. He spent two years as reserve driver before earning a race seat in 2013.
After three seasons and nine podiums, Bottas moved to Mercedes for 2017, partnering Lewis Hamilton. The team was run by Toto Wolff, who left Bottas’s management team following the move to avoid a conflict of interest.
Bottas spent five years at Mercedes, winning ten grands prix and twice being championship runner-up behind team mate Lewis Hamilton. He moved to Alfa Romeo last year, and came tenth in the standings in his first season with the team.
“I think in this team I feel like my role has been very different to what I have ever, ever had really in F1,” said Bottas at the launch of Alfa Romeo’s 2023 F1 car.
“A bit more involvement, a bit more information going through me, in a way, and obviously the work started early last year together. I tried to give all my experience and technical knowledge I could from the past, and then that work continues. Throughout the whole of last year, always, whether it’s an issue with the car balance or whatever, we’re always feeding back the best we can.”
Bottas’ time at Alfa Romeo started on a high, scoring seven times in their first nine grands prix together. They only scored two more times in the remaining 12 races of 2022, although both of those were at the end of the season as the team became more competitive again after long-delayed car updates were introduced.
“When I’m at the factory, I like to get updates on how things are going. And obviously if I ever have any ideas or questions, then I ask and we speak. So it’s really, really open situation in the team and I love to know always as much as I can about all the details with the new car.
“I think it’s fair to say like the set-up direction we’ve gone, the development of the car balance throughout the whole last year has been going into the right direction, and that work continues. And we’ll see with this new car. I think hopefully everything is in an even better place in those situations. And we keep working hard.”
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