Alfa Romeo simulator ‘hugely improved’ – Bottas

Valtteri Bottas has made a tremendous start to the 2022 Formula 1 season with Alfa Romeo after departing Mercedes.

Alfa Romeo driver Valtteri Bottas has confirmed that the simulator at the team’s base in Zurich has come on leaps and bounds since the start of the season.

The Finn worked with the very best facilities on offer during his five seasons with Mercedes previously, and joined Alfa Romeo at a time when they were designing a brand-new car under the new technical regulations.

Their technical director, Jan Monchaux, indicated that the “extreme design” slightly prioritised keeping the car light over reliability in a philosophy that suffered from the Swiss team’s previous approach to designing a race car.

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The result of the completely different cars and the entirely new approach may possibly have led to slightly offset readings on the simulator, and Bottas remarked late in 2021 that the new cars do not feel “crazy different” to the previous generation.

Now though, the Finn divulges that the simulator is much nicer to drive due to the advancements made in recent months.

“Nowadays, of course, the simulators are hugely important with a lack of testing and as the technology improves, you can get more and more out of it,” he said, quoted by RaceFans.

“The first time I tried the Alfa Romeo Sauber simulator, I could feel that there was quite a difference to the one at Mercedes because Mercedes started a long, long time ago and our team, we only started a few years ago. So of course there’s catching up to do.

“But from the first time I tried it versus what it is now it’s already hugely improved and it has been already this year, especially the last couple of events, a really useful tool to kind of support the race weekend.”

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The more realistic simulator experience is something that has taken a lot of work, but it paid off in learning the new Miami International Autodrome ahead of the inaugural Miami Grand Prix.

“It’s been rapid progress on that and that keeps going and it is already really good tool,” added Bottas.

“There are still improvements to be made and obviously I’ve given my part to it based on my experience and I’m sure it has helped as well.

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“For example, [in Miami] it was really useful to get to know the track and actually try a few different set ups or wing levels so you get a bit of an idea and before.”

Bottas has scored points in four of the first five races of the season, and his impressive start in Alfa Romeo colours leaves him eighth in the Drivers’ Championship going into the Spanish Grand Prix this weekend.