Bottas more relaxed at Alfa Romeo

Valtteri Bottas feels free to be himself at Alfa Romeo

Valtteri Bottas feels free to be himself at Alfa Romeo

A more relaxed Valtteri Bottas is fast becoming a cult favourite in the Formula 1 paddock as he allows his personality to shine through.

The Finn joined Alfa Romeo Sauber at the start of last season and quickly became a popular figure within the team.

His popularity has also shot up, notably in Australia, as he’s embraced social media and used it for some light-hearted fun.

That was epitomised by a video following the end of the 2022 Formula 1 season in which he adopted an Australian way of life.

During pre-season testing, he sported a helmet that featured his own face – including moustache and mullet.

Change of environment

“It’s a different atmosphere,” he said of his current team.

“For sure a big part of it is, when you’re fighting for the title, then obviously the pressure builds up.

“But it’s a smaller team as well. I think, for me, probably one of the big things why maybe I feel more relaxed is the future is a bit more solid for the years to come.”

Bottas signed a ‘multi-year’ deal with Alfa Romeo Sauber from 2022, with that understood to take him through to at least the end of next season.

He also suggested the environment with his new team has played a part in his new image.

“I think company policy might be a bit different in different workplaces,” he noted, contrasting Sauber’s approach to that at Mercedes.

“Some things might be a bit more restricted.

“But I think it’s a time, and getting older as well, and all the school and learnings F1 has given to me as well.

“You just eventually learn sometimes not to take things too seriously, especially yourself.

“I’m just a bit happier with everything.”

Australian influence

A key component in that has been partner Tiffany Cromwell.

An Australian professional cyclist, Bottas credits her with bringing him out of his shell.

“She’s an Aussie and very, I would say, a free-spirited person and likes to live in the moment and do things that make her happy,” he explained.

“For sure the person you live with is always a big impact and she’ll still trying to make me an Aussie.

“It’s step by step, but for sure making an impact.”

As revealed by Speedcafe, Bottas will be in Adelaide this weekend as part of the Motorsport Festival ahead of next weekend’s Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne.

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