Valtteri Bottas is optimistic Alfa Romeo can “make a good leap forward” when he joins them next year, thanks to F1’s new regulations.
The Finn is leaving Mercedes after five seasons and will be hoping he can bow out having maintained his 100% record of helping them to win the Constructors’ World Championship during his tenure alongside Lewis Hamilton.
On the face of it, as he makes way for George Russell, Bottas will be dropping to a much less competitive, lower midfield team who have only scored three points in 2021 so far and sit ninth of 10 in the standings.
But 2022 could be a different kettle of fish because every team starts with a clean slate, needing to produce an entirely new car that fits with the big regulation changes.
Alfa Romeo are among those that have largely sacrificed development on their current car to try and hit the ground running next term – and that gives Bottas hope they will be racing much nearer the front than presently.
— Valtteri Bottas (@ValtteriBottas) September 6, 2021
“It’s interesting that everything is wide open,” the 32-year-old told MTV Sport Finland. “The pack can really mix up quite a bit. In theory, the performance of all the teams should be pretty close. There shouldn’t be big differences.
“That brings a kind of positivity to everything. When I’ve seen and heard why a team should make a good leap forward, I do believe it’s possible – with hard work, of course.
“I’ve now been with the championship-winning team for four years in a row. It’s a lot of experience for me and I can help the team to move forward.
“Everything I’ve learned and everything I know, I will take forward, starting with teamwork.
“It will definitely be a busy spring, getting to grips with everything and getting to know everyone. And going through things to see how to get better results and hopefully fight for a win one day.”
Bottas has also admitted the writing had been on the wall for some time at Mercedes regarding their decision to part company with him in favour of Russell.
“It was the same situation in the spring and summer with Mercedes, that at some point you had to start talking about a new contract,” he said.
“The way things were going and the mood I was in, and in fact the team was in, it was pretty much agreed this was the way to go.”
Planet F1 verdict
Will Valtteri Bottas continue to play the team game?
With George Russell being confirmed as a Mercedes driver for 2022 will Valtteri Bottas still play the team game to help Mercedes win the Constructors' Championship?