New Alfa Romeo signing Valtteri Bottas has said that he did not have a say in who his team-mate would be at his new team, adding that he has “trust” that team principal Frederic Vasseur made the right choice.
Alfa Romeo have gone with a combination of experience and youth in 2022, with Bottas partnering 22-year-old rookie Guanyu Zhou, who competed in Formula 2 last year.
The Chinese driver claimed four wins and nine podium finishes last year for Alpine-backed Formula 2 team Virtuosi, on his way to third in the Drivers’ Standings.
He also acted as reserve driver for the Alpine Formula 1 team, while fellow Alpine junior Oscar Piastri claimed the 2021 F2 Drivers’ Championship.
The Australian has been left without a seat for next year, and cannot return to the feeder series having already won it.
Bottas arrives from Mercedes after five years and 10 race wins, having partnered Sir Lewis Hamilton during four Drivers’ Championships for the Briton.
He won the Constructors’ Championship with Mercedes in each of the five years he spent there between 2017 and 2021.
The Finn recognises that his role with his new team next year will partly involve aiding the development of his rookie team-mate, and this is something he is ready for.
“Of course I try to help my teammate. We have to work as a team. I hope this will bring us a lot of points and good results,” Bottas said in an interview with FormulaPassion.
Asked if he had anything to do with the choice of Zhou as his partner at the team next year, Bottas said he had “no active role” in that decision.
“I trust Frederic Vasseur, he knows what is best for the team, so I had no active role in the choice of the teammate,” added Bottas.
The 32-year-old ended third in the Drivers’ Championship in 2021, while his Mercedes team picked up their record-eighth straight Constructors’ Championship.
Bottas and Zhou form an all-new line up this year, replacing Kimi Raikkonen and Antonio Giovinazzi at Alfa Romeo.
Raikkonen has retired from motor racing, while Giovinazzi has headed to Formula E to join the Dragon Penske team after being axed by Alfa Romeo.