Ricciardo’s advice to Sauber-bound Bottas
By Mat Coch
Friday 10th September, 2021 - 2:00pm
Valtteri Bottas is saying all the right things ahead of his move from Mercedes to Alfa Romeo Sauber for the 2022 Formula 1 season, according to Daniel Ricciardo.
Bottas will join Sauber next year after five seasons alongside Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes.
In that time he’s netted nine wins and 17 pole positions, a tally he’s unlikely to build upon quickly at his new team.
Sauber’s last, and indeed only, F1 win came courtesy of Robert Kubica at the 2008 Canadian Grand Prix while more latterly even appearances in the final phase of qualifying have proved difficult.
It’s believed Bottas has joined the operation on a three-year contract as he looks to help progress it up the grid.
A key part of that will be realigning his expectations, having entered most race weekends for the past half-decade with a genuine chance of victory.
“He said all the right things,” opined Ricciardo, who made a similar move from Red Bull to Renault for 2019.
“We’ve been in the sport a similar time now, so Valtteri has a lot of experience. I think he understands what’s involved in the sport.
“Making the switch now to Alfa, it’s another project and it’s probably going to take time,” he added.
“I think he gets it for sure.”
For Ricciardo, the motivation to leave Red Bull was in part a desire to stand on his own two feet in the sport.
Having been supported by the Austrian drinks company throughout his junior career, joining Renault was a means to leave that nest.
After a tough first season, the seven-time grand prix winner delivered two podium results for the French manufacturer last year.
“It’s exciting, you know, it’s a new project for him, it’s something fresh,” he explained of Bottas’ move.
“Of course you want to hope and believe that it’s going to be amazing from day one, but I think just like, have a little bit of reservation, and I think with that comes steady growth and some realism behind a new adventure.
“If it was easy, everyone would do it.”
Bottas’ place at Mercedes has been taken by George Russell, who joins the team from Williams, which has in turn filled its vacancy by Alex Albon.
Sauber currently sits ninth in the constructors’ championship with three points to its name, courtesy of three 10th place finishes thus far in 2021.
It’s 17 points down on Williams, which has enjoyed a strong run in recent races, with Haas yet to get off the mark at the foot of the table.