Not confirmed by Toto Wolff in Mercedes after five years in the shadow of Lewis Hamilton’s career Valtteri Bottas it now seemed to have potentially taken a turn for the worse. However, the Austrian manager managed to guarantee a seat in Formula One for 2022 to the Finnish driver, who thus landed in Alfa Romeo alongside the Chinese rookie Guanyu Zhou.
The 32-year-old from Nastola certainly didn’t have high expectations for this season, considering the bad ninth place of the Swiss team at the end of the last constructors’ championship, but the regulatory revolution has completely changed the scenarios. 6th and 8th in the first two qualifying of the year, Bottas is sensationally carving out a leading role in this start of the championship.
“I think this was the best scenario I could ever imagine for my first season in Alfa Romeo. Yes, I am certainly happy with the decision I have made and with the general situation. If we can continue to improve the car there is no doubt that we should still be able to fight for Q3 and the top 10 in the future, so it’s nice“Declares Hamilton’s former teammate.
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“Fighting with Mercedes for the role of third team on the grid? I think this should be the goal nowit seems that we are more or less in the same position as Bahrain, although I thought that in Jeddah it would have been more difficult. I believe that aiming to be the best of the others (behind Red Bull and Ferrari, ed.) Is a good motivation and an excellent goal. We hope to be able to fight for fifth position in the race. It would be a big step for us“, Continues Bottas (source: Motorsport.com).
The Finn then explained the problem that forced him to retire during the last GP in Jeddah: “The engine temperature started to rise, first a little, but then quickly, and nothing could stop it. So maybe it was a loss or something. In the end we had to retire the car so as not to destroy the engine. I think we were having a good race until then. I was fighting with Fernando Alonso, but he too retired in the end; I was in the running for sixth place. I felt good in the car, the pace was good. And if nothing else maybe we had a bit of a performance advantage over Alpine. So not bad“.