Bottas feeling ‘the responsibility to guide’ Alfa Romeo

Michelle Foster
Valtteri Bottas and Alfa Romeo pit stop practice during testing. Barcelona February 2022

Valtteri Bottas and Alfa Romeo pit stop practice during testing, running the camo livery. Barcelona February 2022

The team leader for the first time in his F1 career, Valtteri Bottas says he feels “the responsibility to guide” Alfa Romeo.

After five years with Mercedes, Bottas is an Alfa Romeo driver, the Finn having signed a multi-year deal with the Hinwil-based team.

The move comes with a lot of changes as Bottas is not only going from the front of the grid to the midfield, if not the back of that, he is also going from Mercedes engines to Ferrari power.

And that’s not even taking into account this year’s brand new Formula 1 cars, designed around ground effect aerodynamics compared to yesteryear’s over-car airflow.

All of that means the 32-year-old is going to need a period of adjustment, but he’ll have to keep it as short as possible as he’s now a team leader.

Bottas is partnering Chinese rookie driver Guanyu Zhou with Alfa Romeo banking on the Finn driving their charge up the order.

“Alfa Romeo has a great heritage in the automotive industry and also racing, so driving for the brand is a big responsibility,” Bottas told, “and actually, for the first time in my career, I’m the more experienced driver of the team, I think it’s about time because I’m starting my 10th season.

“So, I definitely feel like I have the responsibility to guide the team and help the team and giving everything I have.”

Moving from Mercedes to Alfa Romeo has been a bit of a shock to the system for the Finn, swapping from one of the biggest teams on the grid to one of the smallest.

Alfa Romeo have a fraction of the staff that Mercedes employs but Bottas says that is not necessarily a negative.

“I saw that they have big, good facilities, obviously from the BMW days,” he said. “I think they invested quite a bit in the factory, so good wind tunnel, good facilities.

“Maybe what was a little bit surprising was that there was quite a few less people in the factory. It was less busy, less people in all the different departments of the factory.


“Definitely it’s a bit smaller, but I feel like it can also have an advantage in terms of how quickly you can react to different things.

“You don’t need to go through 10 people, you can just go to one person and say what we need to do. So, it’s nice.”


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Bottas on the responsibility of being Alfa’s team leader

Valtteri Bottas feels he has a responsibility to guide at Alfa Romeo.