Lewis Hamilton discusses his experience with race at Formula 1
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Valtteri Bottas has made his latest honest assessment of life after Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes by claiming Alfa Romeo are a ‘real racing team’. The 32-year-old has enjoyed a positive first season since his exit and finds himself in the ‘Best of the Rest’ battle with Lando Norris, Esteban Ocon and Fernando Alonso.
During the F1 summer break, Bottas once again insisted on his happiness after ditching Mercedes for a new challenge at Alfa Romeo in 2022. And he may have aimed a subtle dig at Toto Wolff and Co., hailing how his new team operate and comparing it to Williams before his Mercedes career.
He told Auto, Motor und Sport: “Sauber is a real racing team. Just like Williams before my Mercedes days. The team is obviously smaller than Mercedes, but everyone is fully committed because they love motorsport and want to see success.”
Bottas also suggested his new team weren’t so different from Mercedes, considering they are racing for the best possible result rather than wins this season. The Silver Arrows have failed to match Red Bull and Ferrari’s race pace while being marred by porpoising issues. Their run of dominance he helped maintain is set to end this year.
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“When we scored the first points, the mood completely changed,” Bottas added. “The boys saw that something is possible this year. OK, we are not racing for the win but for the best possible result. In that respect, Sauber is not so different from Mercedes.”
Bottas has previously emphasised his happiness away from Mercedes several times since jumping ship for Alfa Romeo. Before his most recent comments, the Finnish driver described the 2022 season as the ‘most enjoyable’ of his F1 career because of the midfield battle and the challenge it poses.
He said: “This season is probably the most enjoyable so far. OK, maybe you don’t 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. In the past at Mercedes, normally, it used to be only one team that we battled against, so then it’s just focused on those two cars. But now I can have six cars around that we need to be aware of. So that’s nice.”
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