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.”
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.”