Bottas believes Alfa Romeo can fight any team besides Ferrari and Red Bull

2022 Bahrain Grand Prix

Posted on

| Written by and

Alfa Romeo are capable of fighting with “any team” on the grid aside from frontrunners Red Bull and Ferrari, says Valtteri Bottas.

In his first qualifying session for his new team, Bottas secured sixth on the grid – Alfa Romeo’s best starting position for three years.

Lining up with just the Ferraris, Red Bulls and Lewis Hamilton’s Mercedes ahead of him, Bottas believes Alfa Romeo have the performance to keep the rest behind.

“I see no reason why we shouldn’t be able to fight with any team, I think,” Bottas said. “Except Red Bull, Ferrari – they seem a bit in their own league – but with the rest, for sure we can fight.”

It was a challenging pre-season for Bottas in his new surroundings as technical problems limited his running during the first test, before he lost the majority of track time in first practice with a misfire. Bottas admitted he was “surprised” to have qualified as high as he did.

“Obviously in testing, when the car worked, we could feel it was not bad,” explained Bottas. “But now after [first practice] issues we haven’t had issues and it’s been smooth. It is really, really nice to see so, in a way, yeah, for sure a bit of a surprise.”

After a difficult couple of seasons for the team where they finished eighth and ninth in the constructors’ championship, Bottas says he is encouraged to see how strong their new package seems to be.

“It was the first session that we would find out where we actually are and yes, it makes me happy,” he said.

“It gives me a lot of hope, instead of if I would have finished P18, it would be the slightly bigger mountain to climb. There’s still a mountain, but it’s not Mount Everest anymore.”

Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and go ad-free

2022 Bahrain Grand Prix

Browse all 2022 Bahrain Grand Prix articles

Author information

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...
Claire Cottingham
Claire has worked in motorsport for much of her career, covering a broad mix of championships including Formula One, Formula E, the BTCC, British...

Got a potential story, tip or enquiry? Find out more about RaceFans and contact us here.

23 comments on “Bottas believes Alfa Romeo can fight any team besides Ferrari and Red Bull”

  1. How awesome is this?

    1. Very. I hope it continues into the season.

      1. I am gonna fist pump 500 times if bottas beats hamilton through turn 1!

        1. I just practiced….12 seemed like a lot. I’ll also be holding a coffee….nevermind

        2. If Valterri beats Ham into the first corner, I want a close up of Toto’s face

          1. And also of his table!

          2. And headphones!!

    2. Oh man, so so good! As a long suffering fan of Valtteri’s yesterday’s quali was another great “to whom it may concern” moment!

  2. Really glad for Kevin and Bottas. Nice to see them smile with hope.

  3. Go Bottas!

  4. If he fights with Lewis the entire race, this will be fun to watch. They have always respected each other in their battles.

    1. Really? Respect or just the second driver not allowed to take points away.
      There were times Bottas was so deaply frustrated by the treatment he received. It took him some years to know his place.
      It’s nice to see he can really fight with the gloves off. But I guess that’s no longer in his nature.

  5. RandomMallard
    19th March 2022, 21:49

    Really happy for Bottas, Magnussen and all the members of both teams at Alfa Romeo and Haas. It’s been a tough few years for all of them so I can imagine there’s an enormous amount of happiness back at those camps now. And they deserve it too.

  6. Ah it’s like the Sauber of old, start strong but sadly cannot keep the development up and slowly slip back through the year.

    1. I have a feeling this might be the case. Also a bit worried about their reliability after testing, but we will see! Surprised they managed top 10!

      I have a feeling AM and McLaren will be improving over the next 4 weekends and there will be a fierce midfield scrap. Bring it on!

  7. Mercedes will have this sorted in a couple of races and then it will be a whole other story. Remember all those other teams had more time in the wind tunnel than the Mercs, so they were bound to have some kind of advantage.

  8. Maybe I’ll regret this comment in a few hours time when the race happens, but Bottas always talks a strong game and usually has the raw speed to qualify well. But he has been missing racecraft throughout his career, not making passes and not defending positions well enough. That, as much as anything is why he is no longer at Merc. It was never about his ability to qualify. So we’ll see how he does tomorrow defending against George, who I’m sure will want to impress on debut for Merc after all these years of coveting the seat.

  9. Bottas Raikkonen
    the dream Finn team that could have been, in this car
    damn it

    1. So true… And sad… :(

    2. True, they seem to be similar in some ways.

  10. We’ll see if the same trend continues in the race.

  11. Looks like Red Bull are more powerful but heavier by 10kgs than Ferrari and it’s hampered their acceleration.

    If there was no minimum weight revisions, Valtteri might have a better chance to beat both Merc.


Comments are closed.