He departed Mercedes to join Alfa Romeo
Valtteri Bottas has been a Formula 1 driver for the last nine seasons. He arrived in 2013 to join Williams, and in 2017 he became Lewis Hamilton‘s teammate at Mercedes.
Together with Bottas, the British driver managed to become World Champion and maintained his hegemony. And, between the two of them, they won every possible Constructors’ World Championship title. It was a successful duo, but always with Hamilton as the central character.
This year is Bottas‘ first season at Alfa Romeo after he decided to departed Toto Wolff‘s team, leaving his void to be filled by Geroge Russell.
By his own admission, this is proving to be his happiest season, probably as he has been freed from the pressure of being in a winning team, as was the case with Mercedes.
At his current team, they are competing to maintain ninth place in the Constructors’ standings, something Bottas is achieving with Zhou Guanyu, but he doesn’t have the added stress of always having to be at the front of the grid.
What is happening to him this year is that the roles have been reversed. Valtteri comes first, considered as the team leader. And that is not something that happened to him alongside Hamilton.
“I just feel a bit happier in life overall,” Bottas told The Race.
“I really feel a big part of the team. And it’s been really nice to have proper authority on things. If I ask for something, it happens – and everyone really listens
“I’m not just a driver, but also an important team member. It was always quite difficult in the past to really step up. And I think Lewis also in a team is quite a dominant person in a way. It was pretty clear that I couldn’t have the same role there as what I have here.”
In a recent interview with Motorsport, Bottas admitted that he feels more relaxed this season at Alfa Romeo and explained the reason why he feels comfortable at his new team.
“This season is probably the most enjoyable so far,” Bottas said.
“OK, maybe you don’t know always remember things, but it really feels like I’m enjoying F1 more than ever.
“When it gets to the racing, it’s a lot of good fun, especially like in the midfield and how different it is strategy-wise in the races. It’s more like one decision can jump you many places. It’s a different game.
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