Valtteri Bottas has revealed he thought about “myself only” and what he needs to enjoy F1 before making the decision to sign with Alfa Romeo.
After five years of sliding from one one-year contract to the next, Bottas put pen to paper on his first-ever multi-year back in August.
But, in order to do that, he had to change teams.
The Finn signed a multi-year contract with Alfa Romeo, putting an end to his time with Mercedes, saying that is what he needed to do to ensure that he was “happy” in Formula 1.
“Exactly,” he explained to The Race when it was put to him that he had to be ‘selfish’, “that was the thing I was thinking quite a bit in July and the beginning of August.
“It’s time for me to really think about myself only, and what do I actually want, what do I actually need, what’s gonna make me happy and enjoy the sport and what’s going to be the most rewarding thing for me.
“So yeah, absolutely. The decisions I made personally are just purely what I wanted, nothing else.
“That’s also what I discussed with my management team, that it’s only for me and lets us do what I want. And we made it happen.”
Bottas’ new deal means he is moving from the front of the grid to the back, Alfa Romeo P9 in last year’s Constructors’ Championship, which was won by Mercedes.
However, the 10-time grand prix winner reckons his move could not have come at a better time as this season Formula 1 enters a new era.
The sport is introducing new technical regulations that mean entirely new cars, even the design philosophy is different.
“I feel like it’s definitely good timing for that,” Bottas said, “especially going to a different team, with a team that needs to make progress in the future and has been struggling.
“So, one thing is completely new cars. One thing is that Alfa Romeo switched focus very early, for next year.
“Also, the budget cap – pretty much every team is going to be on the same budget next year, including Alfa. So that’s definitely positive, and definitely gives more opportunity for a little bit smaller teams to battle at the front.
“So, timing wise it’s perfect.”
Joining Alfa Romeo, Bottas will team up with Fred Vasseur, his former boss in the GP3 series.
Bottas won the 2011 GP3 title with Vasseur’s Lotus ART team.
“I would say 50 percent of the decision was because of Fred and knowing him from the past and knowing what I feel like he’s capable of doing with the team,” said the 32-year-old.
“Then probably being in that role of leader of the team and being the more experienced driver in the team. I don’t know if I can say number one, I think it’s probably never a good thing to say in a team number one or two! But the one with more experience and a leader.
“And a multi-year deal as well, that was a big factor.
“Plus, whatever I tried to investigate and what I heard from the team about how their progress has been going for next year and what their medium to long term plans are with the team.
“All these things factored together I thought it was the right thing for me.”
Bottas says his Alfa decision was ‘only’ for himself
Valtteri Bottas revealed when making the decision to join Alfa Romeo he had to be selfish.