Valtteri Bottas, Alfa Romeo, Circuit de Catalunya, 2022

Bottas is ‘realistic but secretly aiming very high’ at Alfa Romeo

2022 F1 season

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Valtteri Bottas says he is focusing on being “the best version of myself” and not “trying too hard” after moving from Mercedes to Alfa Romeo.

After five seasons with Mercedes, during which he helped the team secure the constructors’ championship every year, Bottas has been replaced by George Russell for the 2022 season and moved to Alfa Romeo.

Bottas says he does not believe he has reached the pinnacle of his driving abilities as he joins his third Formula 1 team in his tenth year in the sport.

“I absolutely feel that I have still so much to do to get better and so much more to give to the sport,” said Bottas.

“As a driver, I think you never, never stop learning as long as you want to. So of course, I’m always looking at areas that I can be better and it truly feels like now I can just be the best version of myself instead of trying to be something else and trying too hard.

“But in the end, it’s going to be a team effort. I don’t see me as the only leader of the team – we’re in this together, that that is the feeling.”

As his new team finished a lowly ninth in the constructors’ championship last year, Bottas recognises he will have to adjust his expectations for how competitive he will be this season.

“As a driver, of course I drive to win races, but also we need to be realistic about where we come from as a team,” Bottas said. “It’s been a challenging last couple of years for Alfa Romeo, but I’m here to help and I’m here to work hard to do my part that we’re going to make progress.”

Bottas says that the aim for his first season with the team will be to secure more consistent top ten finishes throughout the year.

“I think in the first year with the team, if we can get more consistently in the points than previous years, I think that would be already an achievement,” he said.

“But of course, secretly, I’m also aiming very high and I want to be up there. So I’ll keep pushing and also try and keep guiding the team and really push forward together united. I think that’s going to give us eventually the results and that’s going to be so rewarding.

“So for sure, I need a bit of a reset on all my targets – most likely I’m not going to be fighting for the race wins immediately, that’s pretty realistic to say, but eventually it will be.”

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Will Wood
Will has been a RaceFans contributor since 2012 during which time he has covered F1 test sessions, launch events and interviewed drivers. He mainly...

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15 comments on “Bottas is ‘realistic but secretly aiming very high’ at Alfa Romeo”

  1. Bottas can maybe aspire to be a worthy rival for Nikita

  2. Unfortunately for him, based on the opening 3-day test, I see AR starting the season being either 2nd-to-last or dead last in competitive order.

  3. F1 is not a drivers championship. Now Russell will be scoring podiums and wins. Bottas will be fighting for miserable points. Bottas is now nothing but a backmarker.
    Mercedes and Alfa Romeo will be doing what they can do no matter the driver.

    1. @amian Perhaps not even for a single point.

      1. Not necessarily, it depends on the car ofc, but if the values are last year’s ones I’m sure he’ll do better than raikkonen, I think he proved to be stronger when they were racing with fairly competitive ferrari vs mercedes.

  4. Is this now VB v4.0? Tbh I’ve lost track how many times he talks himself up at the onset of a season only to fade away soon after…

    1. Its Bottas 3.141592653589793238

    2. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
      28th February 2022, 9:51

      this bottas V2 V3 V4 was all the media and nothing to do with what he him has stated. It was triggered by Australia 2019 which was maybe relevant, but after that, people on forums and elsewhere seemed to continue it.

      Bottas does set himself targets that are too high though and actually does perform better when he puts no pressure on himself. When he’s prepared to do a recovery drive for example with little pressure, he can sometimes be perfect, like in Abu Dhabi 2019 and Monza this year. Hopefully his lower expectations of this teams performance will allow him to be a better driver.

  5. Bottas Vista

    1. So is Guanyu Millenium?

  6. Bottas says that the aim for his first season with the team will be to secure more consistent top ten finishes throughout the year.

    How quickly Valtteri has adapted to the new reality!

    1. That’s absolutely a fair assessment, we’re talking about a car where giovinazzi and raikkonen struggled to score, and it seems to haven’t got any better.

    2. it hasn’t got*

  7. It’s not a secret if you tell everyone about it.

  8. Bottas focused on “not trying too hard”, um…is that the kind of message the team wants to hear?

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