Valtteri Bottas, after five seasons, 10 wins and two world runner-up finishes with Mercedes, decided to join Alfa Romeo in 2022.
Although the Finn is no longer a regular in the top positions, as he was at Mercedes, he has led Alfa Romeo ‘s efforts in the midfield . Thus, Bottas has contributed 41 of the 46 points that the team has accumulated so far.
Valtteri signed a multi -year deal with Alfa Romeo for this year, giving him the security of his future that he never had with Williams or Mercedes, with whom he maintained a relationship through annual renewals.
“For me, it’s the first time [that I have this confidence], because even with Williams I always signed for one year,” Bottas told Motorsport.com in an interview.
“It’s the first time I haven’t had to stress myself and answer questions about my future. Instead, the drivers who don’t know it yet aren’t going to have a good time.”
Bottas admitted that he felt more relaxed and able to be “fully focused on work”, giving him more freedom to enjoy racing in F1.
“This season is probably the most enjoyable of my F1 career,” said Bottas. “OK, maybe you always remember all the details, but I feel like I’m really enjoying F1 more than ever.”
“The races are being very fun, especially in the middle of the group. We all go with very different strategies. It is a decision that can make you gain many positions. It is a different game [than in recent years]”.
“When I was at Mercedes, we used to fight one team, and I only had to focus on those two cars. But now I can be fighting up to six cars. So it’s good.”
Bottas said the atmosphere at Alfa Romeo is “quite young” and gives a feeling of being “a new team” as well as working in a “more relaxed” way than Mercedes, where they regularly battle for wins and championships.
“Of course, when I work, I work hard, but then when I’m free, I can do whatever I want,” Bottas said. “There is a good balance between life with the team in F1 and outside of it.
Bottas is a regular on social media , and earlier this year he posted a cheeky picture of himself bathing naked in a stream in the United States on his Instagram account. The image, dubbed “Bot-ass”, was made into a print for a charity auction that raised €50,000.
Asked if he would have posted that same photo when he was at Mercedes, Bottas said: “I doubt I would have.”
“Off the track I’m relaxed, and I even like what people think. I just care a lot less than before. And it was a nice picture.”
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