Valtteri Bottas’ New Alfa Romeo F1 Boss Drops Major Reality Check – “He Knows Perfectly Well That This Is a Medium-Term Project”

Published 02/04/2022, 4:26 AM EST
Formula One F1 – Spanish Grand Prix – Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, Barcelona, Spain – May 7, 2021 Alfa Romeo Racing Team Principal Frederic Vasseur talks in the Team Principals Press Conference FIA/Handout via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS – THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVES

Finnish F1 driver Valtteri Bottas is starting a new chapter in 2022 with the Alfa Romeo racing team. After a fairly successful stint with Mercedes, Bottas left the team at the end of the 2021 season. His new boss Frédéric Vasseur says Bottas is well-aware of the team’s capabilities. Moreover, Vasseur is convinced that the Finn won’t feel the frustration for not playing in the front of the grid.

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In his 5 years with the Brackley-based outfit, Bottas won 10 races and secured 58 podium finishes. However, these performances did not help in mounting a serious title challenge against teammate Hamilton. The Finn had some tremendous weekends behind him, but that didn’t help him get rid of the “wingman” status in the team.

Now, after years of playing second fiddle to Lewis Hamilton, Bottas is the main man in his new team. His experiences with the top team will surely help him build a better equation at Alfa Romeo.

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ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – DECEMBER 14: Valtteri Bottas of Finland driving the (77) Alfa Romeo Racing C41 Ferrari during Formula 1 testing at Yas Marina Circuit on December 14, 2021 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Joe Portlock – Formula 1/Formula 1 via Getty Images)

Valtteri Bottas knows this is a medium-term project – Frédéric Vasseur

Vasseur, team director of the Alfa Romeo F1 team, believes that the team won’t disappoint Bottas because he is not gunning for a championship here. When Bottas left the Mercedes team, his only regret was not winning a championship. However, a lower midfield team like Alfa Romeo cannot offer him that and he is well-aware of it.

In a recent interview, Vasseur discussed Bottas’ approach with the team at length. “He could be frustrated if the project was to be champion,” says Vasseur. “But he knows perfectly well that this is a medium-term project and that we want to do the best we can. In every session, I want to do a better job than the day before and I think we have to have that mentality and we will have it.”

Although many expect some sort of shift in the power dynamics in the 2022 season, Vasseur says Bottas doesn’t have any unrealistic expectations.

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“He also knows that we are starting from the second part of the grid. He’s pretty smart. He knows perfectly well the level of the team, the technology of the team, and that it’s not a problem as long as our goals are similar,” he added.

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Now, with a new team and valuable experience to back him, there is a fair chance that Bottas will function with more autonomy than ever. The 2022 season comes with a lot of unpredictability. Where do you think Bottas will finish next season?

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Rituraj Tripathi

370 articles

Rituraj Tripathi is an F1 author at EssentiallySports. A true lover of speed, he is big fan of Lewis Hamilton and finds a future world champion in Lando Norris. Rituraj eagerly looks forward to the paddock moving to the Circuit de Monaco, and he finds Portier corner as the most exciting part of the track.

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