Bottas feedback steering Alfa Romeo in ‘right direction’
By Ian Parkes
Saturday 11th February, 2023 - 12:58am
Valtteri Bottas is continuing to relish his upgraded role with Alfa Romeo as the team began the 2023 F1 season in earnest on Friday.
A few days after unveiling the C43, Bottas was the first Formula 1 driver in this campaign to sample the evolution of last year’s car that had been built to the new aerodynamic regulations.
Alfa Romeo conducted a shakedown at Barcelona’s Circuit de Catalunya, with Bottas and team-mate Zhou Guanyu sharing the driving duties across the 100 kilometres only that are permitted.
The laps conducted at least allowed the duo to get an early feel for the car, and the engineers to oversee crucial systems checks ahead of heading to Bahrain for the sole pre-season test from February 23-25.
Speaking at the team’s launch earlier in the week about his role in the development of the car and the feedback he provides, Bottas said: “It’s definitely been interesting.
“Like I’ve said multiple times, in this team, I feel like my role has been very different to what I have ever had really in Formula 1. [I’ve had] a bit more involvement, a bit more information going through me in a way.
“Obviously, the work started early last year together. I tried to give all my experience and technical knowledge that I could from the past and then that work continues.
“Throughout last year, whether it was an issue with the car balance or whatever, we are always feeding back [information] the best we can and when I am at the factory, I like to get updates on how things are going.”
Bottas willing to take credit – or maybe not!
Bottas has confirmed being free to pose “any ideas or questions” that lead to open conversations and aid with the feedback.
“It’s a really open situation in the team and I love to know always as much as I can about all the details with the new car,” added the 33-year-old Finn.
“It’s fair to say, the setup direction we have gone with, the development of the car balance throughout the whole of last year has gone in the right direction and that work continues.
“We will see with this new car. Hopefully, everything is in an even better place with those situations, and we keep working hard.”
Bottas then joked: “Back to the question that was asked, I didn’t answer it properly.
“If the car is quick, I basically designed it. But if it’s not quick, I had nothing to do with it!”
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