Bottas feels "big responsibility" to be Alfa Romeo F1 leader

Valtteri Bottas is relishing taking on the responsibility of being Alfa Romeo Formula 1's team leader after spending years in Lewis Hamilton's shadow at Mercedes.

Bottas feels "big responsibility" to be Alfa Romeo F1 leader

During five seasons with Mercedes, Bottas took 10 wins and 58 podiums while Hamilton won four world championships.

With Mercedes opting to bring in protege George Russell as Hamilton's new teammate, Bottas headed to Alfa Romeo, where he will be the team's lead driver alongside Chinese rookie Guanyu Zhou.

The 32-year-old Finn says he is excited about the prospect of being the team's most experienced driver, a career-first.

"Alfa Romeo has a great heritage in the automotive industry and also racing, so driving for the brand is a big responsibility," Bottas said. "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."

While Alfa Romeo is famed for its excellent facilities in Hinwil, the team's smaller size is a far cry from the mammoth Mercedes team Bottas left.

When asked by Motorsport.com to compare the two factories, Bottas said he was initially surprised at the reduced number of staff at Alfa Romeo but noted the team's compact size also has some advantages.

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

"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."

Valtteri Bottas, Alfa Romeo C42

Valtteri Bottas, Alfa Romeo C42

Photo by: Davide Cavazza

One of the areas Alfa Romeo is trying to catch up on is its brand-new driver-in-the-loop simulator, which was acquired in 2019 but only started being used actively during the 2021 season due to operational delays related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Read Also:

Bottas admitted the simulator still needed some work to fine-tune the correlation with the real world.

"There is work to do and actually a lot of the sim work we've done, especially the first days, was all about trying to develop the simulator instead of actually testing the car properly," Bottas explained.

"With the new car, the work we've done has been only an estimation because I haven't driven the new car properly in dry conditions yet.

"After the Barcelona test we'll go back and we'll try to do some correlation work. The hardware and software are everything you need for a good simulator, but it still needs some fine-tuning."

shares
comments

Related video

Power: F1 is the pinnacle, IndyCar is best for competition
Previous article

Power: F1 is the pinnacle, IndyCar is best for competition

Next article

F1 Testing 2022: When is it, who’s driving and how can I follow it? 

F1 Testing 2022: When is it, who’s driving and how can I follow it? 
Nicholas Latifi: The under-fire F1 driver fighting for his future Prime

Nicholas Latifi: The under-fire F1 driver fighting for his future

Personable, articulate and devoid of the usual racing driver airs and graces, Nicholas Latifi is the last Formula 1 driver you’d expect to receive death threats, but such was the toxic legacy of his part in last year’s explosive season finale. And now, as ALEX KALINAUCKAS explains, he faces a battle to keep his place on the F1 grid…

Formula 1
Aug 13, 2022
The strange tyre travails faced by F1’s past heroes Prime

The strange tyre travails faced by F1’s past heroes

Modern grand prix drivers like to think the tyres they work with are unusually difficult and temperamental. But, says  MAURICE HAMILTON, their predecessors faced many of the same challenges – and some even stranger…

Formula 1
Aug 12, 2022
The returning fan car revolution that could suit F1 Prime

The returning fan car revolution that could suit F1

Gordon Murray's Brabham BT46B 'fan car' was Formula 1 engineering at perhaps its most outlandish. Now fan technology has been successfully utilised on the McMurtry Speirling at the Goodwood Festival of Speed, could it be adopted by grand prix racing once again?

Formula 1
Aug 11, 2022
Hamilton's first experience of turning silver into gold Prime

Hamilton's first experience of turning silver into gold

The seven-time F1 champion has been lumbered with a duff car before the 2022 Mercedes. Back in 2009, McLaren’s alchemists transformed the disastrous MP4-24. And now it’s happening again at his current team

Formula 1
Aug 11, 2022
Why few would blame Leclerc if he leaves Ferrari in future Prime

Why few would blame Leclerc if he leaves Ferrari in future

OPINION: Ferrari's numerous strategy blunders, as well as some of his own mistakes, have cost Charles Leclerc dearly in the 2022 Formula 1 title battle in the first half of the season. Though he is locked into a deal with Ferrari, few could blame Leclerc if he ultimately wanted to look elsewhere - just as Lewis Hamilton did with McLaren 10 years prior.

Formula 1
Aug 9, 2022
The other McLaren exile hoping to follow Perez's path to a top F1 seat Prime

The other McLaren exile hoping to follow Perez's path to a top F1 seat

After being ditched by McLaren earlier in his F1 career Sergio Perez fought his way back into a seat with a leading team. BEN EDWARDS thinks the same could be happening to another member of the current grid

Formula 1
Aug 8, 2022
How studying Schumacher helped make Coulthard a McLaren F1 mainstay Prime

How studying Schumacher helped make Coulthard a McLaren F1 mainstay

Winner of 13 grands prix including Monaco and survivor of a life-changing plane crash, David Coulthard could be forgiven for having eased into a quiet retirement – but, as MARK GALLAGHER explains, in fact he’s busier than ever, running an award-winning media company and championing diversity in motor racing. Not bad for someone who, by his own admission, wasn’t quite the fastest driver of his generation…

Formula 1
Aug 7, 2022
Could F1 move to a future beyond carbon fibre? Prime

Could F1 move to a future beyond carbon fibre?

Formula 1 has ambitious goals for improving its carbon footprint, but could this include banishing its favoured composite material? Pat Symonds considers the alternatives to carbon fibre and what use, if any, those materials have in a Formula 1 setting

Formula 1
Aug 6, 2022