Alfa happy Zhou has ‘a good teacher’ in Bottas

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Valtteri Bottas in the Alfa Romeo garage. Abu Dhabi December 2021

Valtteri Bottas in the Alfa Romeo garage during post-season testing. Abu Dhabi December 2021

Alfa Romeo team principal Frederic Vasseur feels Valtteri Bottas will be a “good teacher” for Guanyu Zhou.

The Swiss-based team are the only one on the grid heading into the 2022 campaign with a brand new driver line-up as Zhou and Bottas replace Antonio Giovinazzi and Kimi Raikkonen.

Zhou will be the only rookie on the grid and with the new regulations coming into play, many expect it to be a difficult year for him – but Vasseur says he is not worried.

That is largely because he thinks the 22-year-old will have a good teacher in his team-mate.

“I’m not worried about anything,” Vasseur told GPFans.

“Zhou wants to learn. I think he shows the perfect attitude and with Valtteri, we have a good teacher in the house.”

Helping Zhou is not the only way in which Vasseur feels Bottas’ experience will benefit the team either.

With the new regulations coming into play, there will be a huge amount of unknowns for teams at the start of the season in terms of their cars and the rules as a whole.

Given that, the feedback their drivers provide them with will be more important than ever, and it is for that reason Vasseur and co opted to snap up the Finn.

“We made that choice ourselves,” Vasseur added. “What was important to us is that we would have at least one driver in the team with great experience in Formula 1.

“I think it is difficult to build on past performances because we are dealing with a completely new situation. Everything is different, but at the very least we now have someone in the house who quickly understands where things are going well and where things are not.”


As it had been widely expected early on last year that he would be replaced at Mercedes by George Russell at the end of that season, there was talk Bottas would retire from F1 rather than join another team lower down the grid.

He admits the thought had crossed his mind but says he never seriously considered calling it a day.

“Of course, I also questioned myself, do I want this or should I try doing something else?” he said.

“That was also one option, but I never seriously considered leaving Formula 1 because deep inside me I still love Formula 1 and the competition and many things about it.”


Bottas never had thought to retire

Valtteri Bottas never had a thought of retirement when moving from Mercedes to Alfa Romeo.