Valtteri Bottas feels he has been more directly involved in the work being done at Alfa Romeo than at either Mercedes or Williams earlier in his Formula 1 career.
The Finn joined Sauber-run Alfa Romeo from Mercedes ahead of the 2022 season and was the more experienced driver alongside rookie Zhou Guanyu. After a hugely impressive start to the year, Alfa Romeo tailed off but still held onto sixth-place overall, and Bottas says he has been included in a lot of the discussions about the 2023 car to try and build on that platform.
“It’s definitely been interesting, in this team I feel like my role has been very different to what I’ve ever had in Formula 1,” Bottas said. “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 that I could from the past and then that work continues.
“Whether it’s an issue with the car balance or whatever, we always feed it back as best we can, and whenever I’m at the factory I like to get updates about how things are going. Obviously if I ever have any ideas or questions then I can ask and we speak. So it’s a really open situation in the team and I love to know as much as I can about all the details of the new car.
“I think it’s fair to say the setup direction we’ve gone and the development of the car balance throughout all of last year has gone in the right direction and that work continues. We’ll see with this new car — hopefully everything is in an even better place in those situations and we keep working hard.”
Bottas says he has high expectations of the new Alfa Romeo ahead of its first laps during a shakedown in Barcelona on Friday, as he wants to try and maintain the higher level of performance that was seen at the start of last year.
Your first look at #F1 2023 on track. ♥️ #GetCloser pic.twitter.com/P3oMh0xtqk
— Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake (@alfaromeof1) February 10, 2023
“We need to achieve more, it’s as simple as that. We always need to aim for better, aim for higher, the whole team and myself included. We always need to keep improving — that’s what drives us. We’re expecting better consistency, more points and better results. But how to get there, that’s the tricky bit, and that comes from all the details and working really hard together as a team.”