Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes, Monza, 2021

Bottas “not too worried” over Alfa Romeo’s current form

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In the round-up: Valtteri Bottas is eager to sign off his Mercedes career with more wins and isn’t concerned by the form of his future team.

In brief

Individual race results still “the big motivation” for Bottas

Valtteri Bottas, who will move to Alfa Romeo next season, says he had no concerns over given the team’s current results which have left them ninth in the constructors championship standings.

“I know that they haven’t really developed this year’s car and they haven’t really progressed this year,” the current Mercedes driver said. “But I know the efforts they’re putting in for the future so I’m not too worried, it’s not going to improve suddenly this season, for them. That’s a fact.

“But next year is different cars and everything. So I’m obviously more hopeful than what the results are now.”

With just seven races left alongside Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes before leaving the team, Bottas is determined to add to his haul of nine career victories.

“I want to win,” he said. “I want to win and also I really want us to get the fifth constructors title and obviously, if it’s not me winning the championship, I want that to be Lewis. For me, individual race results. That is still the big motivation for me.”

Mercedes explain Hamilton’s loss of places at start

Start, Sochi Autodrom, 2021
Hamilton thought better of lunging at Norris
Mercedes technical director Mike Elliott said Hamilton’s loss of places at the start of the Russian Grand Prix was due to him playing it safe with title rival Max Verstappen starting outside the points. From fourth on the grid Hamilton backed out of a run on pole-winner Lando Norris on the way into turn two, falling to seventh.

“Norris we think was also de-rating, so actually Lewis’s closing speed was really high, partly because of the tow he had and partly because Norris was de-rating,” Elliott said.

“As is a consequence of that, Lewis had to make a decision: Does he try and fight for that inside line or does he brake and make sure that he is not involved in a first corner incident? You’ve got to bear in mind in Lewis’s mind his main protagonist in the championship is right at the back of the grid.”

Bond Muir “ambivalent” after season in lockdown

W Series returned after cancelled 2020 season
W Series CEO Catherine Bond Muir told RaceFans that although the championship was glad to be back racing, with strong competition, she felt “truly ambivalent” over a season in the restrictive support paddock rules.

Since W Series has been running alongside F1, it has been subject to the same rules as Formula 2 and 3, with no guests allowed in the support paddock. Although VIPs, media and other attendees have returned to F1’s areas of the track, they are not permitted for the junior series.

Bond Muir said “I feel truly ambivalent about the 2021 season. It’s fantastic we’re racing again, it’s fantastic that we’re going into our final two races with two drivers on equal points.

“It creates excitement and interest. It shows that it’s very, very competitive, that we don’t have just one runaway winner.

“Obviously working in a Covid environment, we weren’t used to it last year. But I hear from everyone in Formula 1 that it’s even more difficult working in this year. It definitely is is very challenging, from my point of view.

“It’s an enormous shame that we haven’t been allowed to have guests at our races because obviously we can’t because we are in the red zone in a support paddock. And that is important to get those guests in, to try and do commercial deals.

“We still have got a lot of interest. But I think when people come to our races, that is when people really fall in love with W Series because they see it properly. So, as I say, it is a game of two halves really.”

Circuit of the Americas launches NFTs

The Circuit of the Americas has joined other Formula 1 parties – including teams and the championship itself – in working with non-fungible tokens to sell or auction images. Two NFTs will be produced, both 360-degree panorama shots of the circuit, one from the start finish line and one from the circuit viewing tower, both of which will be auctioned as ‘single press’ – making them the only ‘true’ versions of the image files.

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Comment of the day

Drivers with 2022 F1 car model, Silverstone, 2021
Guide: 2022 F1 drivers and teams
With big changes set for F1’s regulations next year, Dan Rooke sees an opportunity for a change in the pecking order between the teams:

I can’t help but think that the team with the best early advantage next season will be the one to have found the best loophole and meet the regulations in the most innovative and creative way.

The power units seem to have a level of parity now, some teams have stronger line-ups than others – the greatest unknown is who will interpret the technical regulations with best the engineering ‘artistry’ to have something nobody else thought of.

Engineering excellence and innovation is at the heart of F1, it’s a team sport, I can’t wait to see next year’s cars!

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On this day in motorsport

  • 20 years ago today Mika Hakkinen scored his final Formula 1 win, at Indianapolis, despite a grid penalty for a pre-race pit lane infringement

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Author information

Hazel Southwell
Hazel is a motorsport and automotive journalist with a particular interest in hybrid systems, electrification, batteries and new fuel technologies....

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22 comments on “Bottas “not too worried” over Alfa Romeo’s current form”

  1. RE Singapore GP:

    Covid aside, where are all the human rights activists and diversity hawks now? How can we race in Singapore in what can only be classified as Apartheid!?? Where is the outrage?

    Having lived and worked in Singapore, in an area where foreign labour was “used” in abundance, this doesn’t surprise me one bit.

    1. Man. I knew Singapore does not really care about human right. They locked whole immigrant housing area last year and let the police use tracing apps as surveillance last year, but this is the whole new level. Singapore is now the new Israel.

      1. You mean New South Africa?

    2. @jaymenon10

      Where is the outrage?

      Where is yours?

      1. I’ve already vented my outrage… No one listens nor cares… A lot of the false outrage you see on the internet is exactly that… And virtue signalling to make themselves feel better.

        Thats my point.

        1. Agree with that @jaymenon10. The hypocrisy of it is quite annoying.

    3. Where is the outrage?

      The world is full of problems, injustice and worse. If I’d get outraged every time I come across one, I’d have a miserable life. So I try to make a difference within the context of my life. I hope there are people in the Singapore context who are willing to make a difference as well.

  2. Interesting article about the track in Saudi Arabia – if accurate it will be tight. One wonders what the actual track surface will be like given last years experiences with a couple of resurfaced tracks that were sub par for F1 racing.

  3. The round ups are becoming weird… 3 mini articles and a long single column twitter feed before getting to the traditional round-up content. Clicking on the lando norris kart account doesn’t even go anywhere, needed a gold old fashion google to find the website with the info anyway, why not just link to that?

    Anyway, cotd is probably right, but at the same time not necessarily. It could be a creative loophole that reins supreme, like the double diffuser, but it could also be simply good old fashioned solid engineering. Personally I’m just hoping there’s nothing too ugly like the t-wing shark fins or pricky noses.

  4. Re COTD, it will also depend on driver adaptability to the new cars. Their behavior might be very different from today and might suit some drivers better than others, or some might adapt faster.

    1. Good point.
      Ricciardo is a good example of how far a driver can tumble when he doesn’t feel at one with the car.

  5. Re COTD:
    The herculean effort going on within my head right now not to get super excited about next season is unmatched. I literally cannot afford to get disappointed.

  6. Re Singapore GP: I wouldn’t mind skipping the floating football field grandstand section as this would improve lap flow.
    The following corner escape road can be longer as the road continues further.

    For Jeddah, perhaps maximizing everything for an early-2022 debut would’ve been better than a somewhat hurried late-2021 inaugural event.

    An interesting COTD.

  7. Needless to say, I agree with COTD.

    @jeanrien makes a good point and one I had in my mind also – drivers may find their new car has a completely different way of handling and it might not suit their natural style. This is definitely something we’ve seen recently with Ricciardo moving to McLaren, and we often hear it from solid Red Bull drivers (not Max) who feel they are having to relearn how to drive!

  8. I fully expect Bottas to become a moving chicane from next season onwards.

    1. So, no change from previous years, you mean? ;-)

    2. @sonnycrockett I think he will rise to the occasion, even if it will be fighting for 10th. There’s no denying one needs to have the head in the right space to deliver, and getting out of Mercedes to a team building the car around him with pressure off will surely translate into good performances. Remember on his day he is as fast as Hamilton, but hampered by the car and team not built around him.

  9. That CotD is not just an open door, it’s a doorframe without any door at all.

  10. driver ratings are way out of whack, either that or they are correcting for bad car performances ratings.
    Lewis has not won in 3 different decades but that can easily change.

    1. “Lewis has not won in 3 different decades”
      I have to disagree. He has at least one win in every season from 2007 until now. Decades are 10-year periods most commonly referred to as years where the 10-digit is the same, for example 1990-1999 or 2010-2019. So Hamilton even has championship wins in three different decades. I haven’t checked if it’s correct that he is alone in those stats, but you can’t deny that Hamilton has achieved it.
      Many racing statistics are completely useless, most often because they are rarely adjusted for change of rules or points scoring systems over the years. But I would say that a specific driver having won or not in a specific year is a very simple and straightforward fact of history.

  11. Bottas isn’t worried about Alpha’s recent performances. Let’s hope that’s reciprocated for his sake!

Comments are closed.