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Valtteri Bottas has conceded McLaren and Alpine’s “scary” form is a threat to his lofty ambitions for Alfa Romeo this year.
The Finn left eight-time reigning F1 constructors’ champions Mercedes over the winter to head up a new-look Alfa Romeo line-up with the team looking to build from a disappointing ninth in the standings last season.
Bottas immediately started firing on all cylinders with impressive performances in the opening stages of the season but with other teams improving their packages through continuous development, the Hinwil-based outfit has seen its results dip.
Addressing targets for the season, Bottas told GPFans: “I feel like overall, Fred’s [Vasseur, Alfa Romeo team principal]… our team’s targets are slightly more conservative.
“I think he would be happy to be in the teams’ top six and one driver in the top 10, but personally, I would like to be seventh in the driver’s championship and the best of the rest.
“As a team, I feel like we should be fourth.
“That’s the target, but the form of Alpine and McLaren recently is a bit scary. I think they’re the main targets, Alpine and McLaren.
“But for those targets, we need to be scoring consistently and getting rid of the issues we’ve had this year.”
Bottas revealed to GPFans that he had set himself a target of reaching 50 points by the traditional summer break, with his tally standing four points shy of the mark.
But insisting his focus is set on the future, Bottas added: “Let’s say if we would only have 20 points, even that, it would have not been a big disappointment because we’re aiming for long-term, not just short-term success.
“That would be just the starting point. The starting point was a bit better than what we thought but of course, we take it from there.
“What is nice is to aim for the long term – [we] don’t just need to think for the next few months. I think for one or two years ahead.”
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