Valtteri Bottas reveals battles against Mercedes computer with Lewis Hamilton

Henry Valantine
Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas during 2021 season.

Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas during 2021 season.

Valtteri Bottas has said he and Lewis Hamilton were both sometimes overruled when deciding how they wanted their cars to be set up, as the computer simulations at Mercedes found there to be time improvements based on the data they had.

Bottas added that it is a different situation for him now at Alfa Romeo, having more say overall in how he has his car configured over the course of a race weekend, but Mercedes engineers would sometimes have their cars run based on data over driver ‘feel’.

The Finn believes it was the correct thing to have had computers lead the way when setting up the cars on some occasions, but not every time for how he wanted to drive what was underneath him.

“It is just how a top team works,” Bottas said, as per GPFans.

“I feel like Lewis felt the same as well. He sometimes wanted to go in his direction, but the engineers would be like: ‘No, the computer says this’.

“So it was sometimes a bit of a battle but it is good to discuss those things and it’s just the way it is.

“They have pretty advanced technology and simulation tools that allow it and quite often the computer was right but not 100 per cent.”

Regarding his current surroundings, Bottas spoke previously of the need for Alfa Romeo to bring on more staff members to get up to the levels of other teams on the grid, to compete on more of an equal footing.

The team’s Hinwil factory is not as large as the bases at Brackley and Brixworth where Bottas went to work at Mercedes, but he believes the tools in place at his current team are “getting there”, though he feels happier at being able to have more of an input in how he wants his car set up – with Alfa feeling more like a “race team”, compared to Mercedes’ “company” feel.

“The simulation tools are developing well in Hinwil, but for now, it feels like there is more human and driver effect on steering things, which I personally enjoy a lot,” he concluded.

Bottas currently sits on 46 points in this season’s Drivers’ Championship, but he has gone seven races without a top-10 finish heading into Singapore next weekend.

Read more: Christian Horner has ‘never once heard Lewis Hamilton recognise Max Verstappen’s ability’