Bottas at ‘peak fitness’ after off-season bike blitz in Australia

Alfa Romeo driver Valtteri Bottas spent the off-season training on his bike in Australia

Alfa Romeo driver Valtteri Bottas spent the off-season training on his bike in Australia

Valtteri Bottas has conceded to clocking up 2000km on his bike during his winter training in Australia and New Zealand which he claims has left him at his peak in terms of fitness for his second F1 season with Alfa Romeo.

At the launch of Alfa Romeo’s full-spec C43 – as opposed to the livery launches to date for Haas, Red Bull and Williams – Bottas was jokingly introduced by host Tom Clarkson as “still looking like an Aussie Rules footballer” with “the hair going on, the ‘tache”.

Throughout Formula 1’s off-season, Bottas extensively posted on social media about his time in South Australia, particularly the Barossa Valley, even competing in a criterium around Glenelg on Boxing Day.

The 10-time grand prix winner is anxious to get the new season underway after completing what he has declared was an ‘important mental and physical reset’ ahead of a record-breaking 23-race calendar.

“I’m full of energy and keen to go,” said Bottas.

“Always as a driver, every year you learn something more about yourself. You learn what works to be fit in the car, but at the same time you learn about yourself, what is sometimes good for de-stressing, what activities etcetera.

“Fitness-wise, from all the numbers, I am at my peak – at least on the bike. But as the season gets closer, I’ve started to do more specific training for driving in the gym etcetera.

“On a fitness side, I think I’m sorted.”

As to how many miles he had completed on his bike, the Finnish driver replied: “It was actually a good off-season for that.

“I spent most of my break in Australia and a bit of time in New Zealand. Obviously, it is summertime, so [how many] kilometres in December, I think I was just shy of 2000.

“But it was mainly on gravel and stuff, so not so easy kilometres. It was a good time for that.”

Bottas demands Alfa Romeo revival

After making the switch from Mercedes to Alfa Romeo ahead of last season, Bottas enjoyed a strong start following the introduction of new aerodynamic regulations, scoring 46 points over the first nine races.

Following the Canadian Grand Prix onwards, however, the points dried up as development work predominantly stopped leading to him adding only three more points in the final 13 races to his tally.

It was Bottas’ fifth place in the Emilia Romagna GP, however, that proved the crucial tie-breaking difference for Alfa Romeo in the constructors’ championship after the Swiss-based team had finished the season level on points with Aston Martin.

Bottas is now naturally hoping the winter reset will allow him and the team continue from where they left off in Canada last year rather than the end of the season itself.

“We need to achieve more, it’s as simple as that,” added Bottas.

“We always need to aim for better, aim higher – the whole team and myself included. We always need to keep improving. That is what drives us.

“And we are expecting better consistency, more points and better results. But it’s how to get there, that is the tricky bit. It comes from all the details and working really hard together as a team.”

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