Valtteri Bottas’ lofty targets threatened by ‘scary’ Alpine and McLaren

Michelle Foster
Valtteri Bottas tightening his helmet in the garage, 77. Spain May 2022

Alfa Romeo driver Valtteri Bottas tightening his helmet in the garage, 77. Spain May 2022

Alfa Romeo may want a top-six showing in the Constructors’ Championship but Valtteri Bottas is dreaming bigger, the Finn chasing best of the rest’s fourth place.

Joining Alfa Romeo this season after five years with Mercedes, Bottas has gone from winning grands prix to fighting for points.

But while he has taken a step down the grid, the 32-year-old made it clear that his ambition had not changed, he still wants race wins and podium finishes.

Right now those aren’t on the cards for Alfa Romeo, the team’s best result Bottas’ P5 at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, but he sees no reason why they cannot at least close in on the target.


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Bottas told GPFans: “I feel like overall, Fred’s, our team’s targets are slightly more conservative.

“I think he would be happy to be in the teams’ top six and one driver in the top 10, but personally, I would like to be seventh in the Drivers’ championship and the best of the rest.

“As a team, I feel like we should be fourth.”

But in the way of P4, as the log stands, are Alpine with 99 points and McLaren on 95 while Alfa Romeo in P6 have managed just 51 points to date.

“That’s the target,” Bottas continued, “but the form of Alpine and McLaren recently is a bit scary. I think they’re the main targets, Alpine and McLaren.

“But for those targets, we need to be scoring consistently and getting rid of the issues we’ve had this year.”

The team’s first half of this season has been blighted by reliability issues, their Ferrari power unit failing too often while the team has also had clutch issues that have hampered their race starts.

Bottas himself has scored 46 points so far this season, just shy of his early-season target of 50.

But, as he points out, Alfa Romeo is a team building for the future.

Finnish driver Valtteri Bottas climbs into his Alfa Romeo in the garage. Baku June 2022

“Let’s say if we would only have 20 points, even that, it would have not been a big disappointment because we’re aiming for long-term, not just short-term success,” he said.

“That would be just the starting point. The starting point was a bit better than what we thought but of course, we take it from there.

“What is nice is to aim for the long term – [we] don’t just need to think for the next few months. I think for one or two years ahead.”