'Alfa Romeo can fight for race wins,' says Valtteri Bottas


Valtteri Bottas has set a target to win races with Alfa Romeo believing the team can build on its 2022 F1 season

Valtteri Bottas portrait

Alfa Romeo

Valtteri Bottas believes that he can win races with Alfa Romeo if his team can build on its strong “base performance” in seasons to come.

The Finn, who left Mercedes with a career tally of ten grand prix victories, says that finishing on the podium is a realistic goal thanks to Formula 1’s budget cap, which prevents smaller teams being vastly outspent by larger rivals.

Speaking on Motor Sport’s My big break podcast, Bottas says that with “a lot of hard work”, Alfa can be fighting with the likes of Ferrari and Red Bull at the top of F1.

Having signed a multi-year deal with the team, Bottas can see himself spearheading the charge for grand prix wins.

“We’re not at the peak,” said Bottas. “I can see that and the people know it, that we still have so many things that we can do better.

“At least we know for a team like this, with the budget cap it makes things so much more equal.

“So you know as a fact that there’s opportunities, like in the past if somebody had 200 million more budget than you, it would be a bit of a mountain to climb.

“But now it’s realistic that we can do better than this and in the future we can score podiums, we can even fight for race wins. I truly believe that, but that needs a lot of work and that’s why I’m here.”

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After racing for Mercedes, which has won the past eight championships, Bottas signed for a team who finished next to bottom in the 2021 standings.

He dampened his expectations for 2022 but the positive start to the season, which sees him eighth in the championship with 46 points, has flipped everything on its head.

After nine rounds, Alfa Romeo has already scored more points than it did in the whole 2021 season and Bottas has been close to the podium positions in several races.

“Results wise, no big expectations for the first year but actually, we realised pretty quickly that once we had the reliability, with the car we actually have pretty good base performance,” he added.

“Some tracks we’re really almost up there fighting with the big teams and that’s been so amazing in a way that it’s not maybe something I quite expected for the first year, but I knew the potential was there.”

Valtteri Bottas ahead of a line of cars at the start of the 2022 Spanish Grand Prix

Bottas qualified fifth in Spain and ended the race seventh

Alfa Romeo

A move to Alfa Romeo has reunited him with team principal Frederic Vasseur; a pairing that won the GP3 title in 2011.

Vasseur’s track record gives Bottas even greater belief that the team can succeed.

“He was [a] really key person for me, especially in the GP3 season, having that need to win the title if I wanted to proceed,” said Bottas.

“So I knew that if I’m going to join his team, eventually good things will happen because every project he’s got into, normally has been successful. But this is only, in a way, starting so there’s still a long way to go.”

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