Valtteri Bottas says he can win F1 races with Alfa Romeo as he hits budget cap
Bottas impressed in his first season with Alfa after leaving Mercedes, and the Finn made a bold prediction about his new employers’ future
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Valtteri Bottas believes he can win races with Alfa Romeo after a strong start following his exit from Mercedes.
The Finn had been with the Silver Arrows for five years and wanted to extend his stay, but the team decided fresh blood was needed and promoted George Russell from Williams. After such loyal service, Mercedes were keen to keep Bottas in the sport and helped him secure his current seat at Alfa Romeo.
He started racing, scoring eight points at the Bahrain Grand Prix and extended his Q3 appearances record to over 100. That record streak has since ended, but Bottas has scored points in all but two races so far. now to build a total of 46 which puts him eighth in the standings.
Although it has shown its ability to score well on most race weekends, Alfa Romeo is far from being able to compete with Ferrari and Red Bull for race wins. But Bottas thinks that might not stay the case for much longer as the team have a good ‘basic performance’ to build on.
“We are not at the top,” said the 32-year-old motorsport magazine. “I can see that and people know that, that we still have so many things that we can do better. At least we know that for a team like this, with the budget cap, it makes things so much more equal. .
“So you know for a fact that there are opportunities, like in the past if someone was £200million more than you it would be a bit of a mountain to climb. But now it’s realistic that we can do better than that and in the future we can score podiums we can even fight for race wins I really believe in that but it takes a lot of work and that’s why I am here.
The 51 points scored so far is already more than Alfa Romeo has managed in the entire 2021 campaign, and an indicator of how the team has adapted to the new era of technical regulations. Bottas even admitted that he didn’t expect some of the results he achieved after such a short time with the team.
“Results-wise, not great expectations for the first year, but actually we realized quite quickly that once we had the reliability, with the car, we actually had good baseline performance.” , added the 10-time F1 winner. At some tracks we’re really almost up there battling with the big teams and it’s been so amazing in a way that maybe it’s not something I really expected for the premiere year, but I knew the potential was there.”