Valtteri Bottas discusses excitement of new-found input at Alfa Romeo

Sam Cooper
Valtteri Bottas smiling in Alfa Romeo garage. Mexico City October 2022.

Valtteri Bottas smiling in the Alfa Romeo garage. Mexico City October 2022.

Valtteri Bottas has been relishing his increased involvement in the development of the Alfa Romeo car after the C43 was launched.

Alfa unveiled what will be their final car of their sponsorship of Sauber on Tuesday with the C43 taking on a striking red and black look.

Bottas was in attendance, as was his team-mate Zhou Guanyu, and the Finn enters the year as one of the sport’s veterans as, following the departures of Daniel Ricciardo and Sebastian Vettel, he has the fourth most number of race starts among the active drivers.

He is also enjoying the luxury of a multi-year contract having previously been on rolling one-year deals at Mercedes, and now Bottas has revealed he is also more involved with the development of the car.

“If the car is fast, I designed it, so to speak,” he joked during the C43 launch. “If not, I had nothing to do with it!

“My role now is very different from anything I was used to before. I’m more involved, more information goes through me. I found it exciting to be part of the development.”

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“We started early with the development for 2023 and I tried to incorporate all my experience and technical knowledge. It went on like this for the whole of last year: It doesn’t matter what. If we had problems with the balance, for example, I tried to help as best I could.”

The main issues for Alfa was reliability with the team suffering 12 DNFs across the year, the most of any constructor, while Bottas himself had six.

The team’s technical director Jan Monchaux admitted reliability used to be “one of our biggest strengths” and the plan of how to get it back was “a big topic for us.”

“Last season’s [reliability] wasn’t as good as the previous season’s so that’s an area where we have had quite a lot of things to do,” he said during the launch.

“Throughout the course of the [2022] season, it also became relatively clear that we had reliability issues, which then became order one.

“So there is also a lot of things we changed on the car but also internally in terms of processes to address that topic because historically we were always very strong with reliability.

“But last year, somehow we lost a little bit of what used to be one of our biggest strengths. So it’s clearly one of the areas of major focus for us last winter.”