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Valtteri Bottas ‘enjoying working with smaller team’ at Alfa Romeo


Valtteri Bottas says he notices a difference between former team Mercedes and his new environment at Alfa Romeo, but he’s enjoying getting to grips with working at a smaller team.

Lewis Hamilton’s former team-mate was replaced by George Russell for the forthcoming 2022 season and opted to switch to the rival team after having initially questioned his own desire to continue in Formula One – though he acknowledged he “never seriously considered” leaving the sport.

Now he’s readying himself for a new set of objectives and expectations after helping Hamilton fight for the title last season and points out he’s still in an “adaptation phase” as Alfa Romeo, like the other teams, get used to the new car and new rules in place for this season.

“I would say you definitely feel the difference. First of all, the size of the team is quite a bit smaller, but it’s not necessarily a bad thing, and at least so far I’ve been enjoying it,” he told assembled media.

“There’s so many new people, new things to get used to and learn.

“And still I would say I’m in the adaptation phase of actually getting properly to know the team and how everything works, but that’s part of learning.

“I would say it’s been a pretty quick process of getting used to it.

“But good vibes, I’ve been really, really enjoying it and, with a bit more track time I would be even happier, but at least it’s been fun.”

Bottas finished third in the driver standings last year on 226 points, clocking up 11 podium finishes and winning the Turkish Grand Prix in October in his final season with Mercedes.

The 32-year-old Finnish racer spent five years with the team after moving from Williams, with all 10 of his career F1 Grand Prix wins coming with his former outfit.

Alfa Romeo managed just 13 points all season last year, finishing ninth out of the 10 teams above only the pointless Haas – Kimi Raikkonen and Antonio Giovinazzi were the drivers last year, with both departing for 2022 to be replaced by Bottas and new Chinese rookie team-mate Zhou Guanyu, who has stepped up from F2.

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