Formula 1

Valtteri Bottas: “I am very motivated to get back on track and eager to score good results”

3 Mins read
Credit: Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake

As Valtteri Bottas prepares to enter his second season with the Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake, the Finnish driver has stated that he is looking forward to building upon what he described as an ‘interesting’ first season with the team.

Bottas enjoyed a strong start to life at Alfa Romeo, successfully finishing inside the points-paying positions seven times through the first nine races of the season, including a sixth place finish on debut for the team at last season’s Bahrain Grand Prix.

Results certainly fizzled out for the Alfa Romeo driver from that point on as Bottas managed just two points finishes throughout the remaining races of the 2022 campaign. Bottas believes that after a mixed bag of results in 2022, he and the team now have a clear direction in which they must head for the 2023 FIA Formula 1 World Championship.

“It’s been an interesting first year with the team, we have become stronger over the course of the season, and we made some solid progress together. Now, the direction to follow is only one: up, higher, and better.”

The ten-time Grand Prix winner enjoyed a strong three days of testing at the Bahrain International Circuit, which was topped off by finishing third fastest on the final day of testing. To the delight of Bottas, the Alfa Romeo proved to be reliable and fast across the three days of pre-season testing

Bottas and Alfa Romeo now head into this weekend’s season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix hoping to maximise the full potential of the C43 and set down a firm marker against their competitors towards the front of the midfield pack.

From the evidence of pre-season testing, Bottas would certainly be surpassing expectations if he were to repeat his feat of finishing sixth a year ago, with the Finnish driver now perhaps having to settle for one of the lower paying points finishes this time around.

“I think these first few days will help us getting a proper idea of where we are standing com-pared to the other teams and see who our direct competitors will be.

“Once again, a long season is ahead of us: I am very motivated to get back on track and eager to score good results, both for us here in Bahrain and for the home team in Hinwil: their effort is essential to get the cars on track. We know we have it in us to do well, and we must stay focused to unlock the full potential of the C43. Let’s go racing!”

Zhou Guanyu: “I’m excited to see what’s coming for us as a team”

Zhou Guanyu has revealed that he enters this weekend’s season opening Bahrain Grand Prix in a much clearer frame of mind than he did twelve months ago. Despite the understandable nerves before his debut, the Chinese driver would still go onto secure a tenth place finish.

Now preparing for his second Bahrain Grand Prix, Zhou believes that he will be able to take advantage of what he learned from his first Formula 1 race around the Bahrain International Circuit and improve upon his tenth place finish from a year ago.

“I feel much more at ease compared to a year ago, at the verge of my debut –and I am ready to turn this to my advantage.

Despite the promising start to his Formula 1 career in Bahrain last year, results would prove to not come easy for Zhou as he would go onto secure just two more points finishes throughout the entire season.

However, the moments of promise that Zhou was able to display in 2022 were enough for Alfa Romeo to reward him with a one-year contract extension for the coming season.

Zhou’s position inside the team could come under question if results and performances haven’t visibly improved as the team’s reserve driver Théo Pourchaire waits in the wings for a potential Formula 1 seat in 2024. Leaving Zhou in a position in which he knows there will have to be a significant improvement upon his rookie season if he is to retain his seat.

“Just like that, we are at the dawn of a new season. I learned a lot during my rookie year, and I will take all the experience with me into 2023, to improve even further. We achieved good things together as a team, and of course the expectation for the season is definitely higher.

Like his teammate, Zhou enjoyed a strong run of pre-season testing at the Bahrain International Circuit, which included the highlight of chalking up the fastest time on day two. After a positive three days of running, Zhou is now looking to hit the ground running at the Bahrain Grand Prix in the hope that it will set him up for a successful second season in the sport.

Now, I feel ready to face all the on-track challenges again. There’s still a lot to learn and to be achieved, and I’m excited to see what’s coming for us as a team: I am very much looking forward to it.”

Credit: Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake
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