Valtteri Bottas’ switch from the Mercedes F1 Team to Alfa Romeo has proven to be almost a stroke of genius, with the latter performing much more consistently so far this season.
In his final couple of seasons at Mercedes, Bottas began to underperform after constantly being in the shadow of Lewis Hamilton.
His departure from Mercedes at the end of 2021 was expected, as was his replacement.
George Russell over-performed at Williams in his three-year spell at the famous British team, and was deserving of his call-up to the Silver Arrows.
Bottas’ switch to Alfa Romeo though has reinvigorated the Finnish driver, who has performed brilliantly so far this season.
The Finn has finished in the top eight at four out of the five rounds this season, with his retirement from the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix being his only non-points finish so far this year.
Bottas is clearly relishing life with his new team, saying that he’s “really enjoying the ride”.
“I’m enjoying it a lot,” said Bottas.
“We started the season with the first race with [scoring] points, and what I’ve been really enjoying is the progress we’ve been able to make together as a team.
“We’re definitely not falling back, and that is the motivation for us to go ahead, rather than backwards. I’m really, really enjoying the ride.”
With Alfa Romeo performing well and his former team struggling, Bottas has already found himself battling against Russell and Hamilton this season.
Whilst Bottas and Hamilton have a well-known good relationship, his connection to Russell has always appeared frosty.
This is largely down to the fact that both drivers went against each-other last year, for the second Mercedes seat for 2022, with the pair coming to a dramatic blow at the 2021 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix.
The pair have always fought hard, however, Bottas denies that his battles with Russell are “personal”.
“No, it’s points,” exclaimed Bottas.
“We’re chasing points and always just really trying to maximise every opportunity, every position you can make.
“Obviously, it was a nice target for me in that race [at Imola], because, from [the middle] to the end of the race, there wasn’t really much action around me so I was catching him a few tenths a lap, and that just kept me pushing.
“The target was more points, rather than a person.”