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Formula 1

Valtteri Bottas aiming for stability with Alfa Romeo

Valtteri Bottas hopes to hold talks with Alfa Romeo early in the 2023 Formula One season to avoid speculation about his long-term future and ensure continued stability with the team.
The Finnish driver joined Alfa Romeo on a multi-year contract at the start of 2022 and was instrumental in leading the team to their highest-ever Constructors’ Championship finish in the turbo-hybrid engine era, sixth place.
Having endured the pressures of being exclusively on one-year contracts for the entirety of his five-year stay with Mercedes, the former Williams driver has repeatedly spoken of the benefits of retaining a long-term contract for the first time in his F1 career.
The lack of security afforded to Bottas and the subsequent questioning of his future plans prior to signing for Alfa Romeo had a negative impact on his performances across the second half of multiple campaigns, particularly while at Mercedes.
Bottas has been outspoken in his desire to put measures in place to prevent a similar situation from occurring with the Hinwil-based outfit.
“I’ve been in that situation so many times where it’s become a distraction,” Bottas told Motorsport.com.
“So yeah, for sure, it’s going to be a talking point hopefully quite early [in the year] on what’s going to happen.
“Having that stability after 10 years of not having much stability is important to me.”
Alfa Romeo’s performance last season marked a significant improvement after a number of years battling at the back of the F1 field.
Bottas was one of the early beneficiaries of a much-improved package, emerging as a revitalized figure after scoring points in six of the first seven races.
Although his stellar points-scoring start faded as the year progressed, the Finn still managed to score 49 of the team’s 55 points, and it was his fifth-place finish at Imola that enabled Alfa Romeo to hold off Aston Martin on countback in the battle for sixth place in the overall standings.
Bottas has spoken of the newfound joy he has found in readjusting his expectations to what constitutes success for a team that is not consistently competing at the sharp end, despite no longer competing for the possibility of wins every weekend.
“It’s rewarding and uplifting seeing the joy people have when you’re actually even scoring a few points regularly.
“It’s not something the team is accustomed to. It’s been great to be a part of it.
“I’m already looking forward to the new car and how it’ll be and all that. “It’s fascinating,” Bottas said.
While Alfa Romeo will be looking to make another step forward this season, there has been a lot of speculation surrounding the Swiss-operating Sauber team since the end of last year, with the long-awaited confirmation that Sauber will become a works Audi outfit in time for the new engine regulations in 2026.
Unsurprisingly, Bottas wishes to extend his current contract in order to begin an exciting new chapter that has the long-term potential to elevate the perennial midfield side into a position to compete for race victories and world championships.
“It’s a fantastic opportunity for the team; it brings stability as well as something new.”
Nonetheless, Alfa Romeo will remain the Sauber-run entity’s official entry name for one final year in 2023, and Bottas has reiterated that the team’s focus will be entirely on the season ahead.

“We’re just getting started now, and obviously, nothing has changed.

“We remain Alfa Romeo. I believe that things will begin to change in the coming year. But for the time being, things are pretty stable, and everyone is just focused on their jobs,” Bottas concluded.