Bottas says 2022 cars ‘not crazy different’

Valtteri Bottas hopes that the new regulations in 2022 will allow for closer and more entertaining racing.

Valtteri Bottas in the 2021 F1 test with Alfa Romeo.v1

Alfa Romeo driver Valtteri Bottas does not believe that the 2022 Formula 1 car will be all that different from the current generation.

The Finn departed serial Constructors’ Champions Mercedes following five years with the team, and will now join partner young Chinese driver Guanyu Zhou – making for an all-new line-up at Alfa Romeo for 2022.

Since the season finale in Abu Dhabi, Bottas has already taken part in the post-season test at the Yas Marina Circuit with Alfa Romeo, and has now jumped on the simulator to get an early feel for the new cars.

Interestingly, he is not sure there is too great a disparity in how the cars feel despite the sweeping changes to the technical regulations.

“At least at that point [on the simulator] it felt like the cars are a bit off in terms of downforce. But the overall feeling, at least in the sim, wasn’t that dissimilar in either of the simulators,” said Bottas.

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Bottas highlighted that he is unable to preview the extent of the dirty air effect on the new machines, but the overall feeling is not too distant to what he has been driving in recent years.

“We can’t simulate following other cars and stuff like that, but it’s not crazy different. Maybe still a bit less downforce but, like I said, that will change. It’s been fun, especially last year [2020], the cars were even faster than this year, with more downforce,” he added.

Ultimately, the 32-year-old said he won’t not know for sure whether the new cars are better than the current ones until he competes in a grand prix with his new machine, and he is hoping they fulfil the brief of creating a better wheel-to-wheel racing spectacle.

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“They’ve been nice but I’ll let you know next year how the new ones [are]. If the racing is better and we can follow more closer, then it should be even more fun, and I think the cars in the future will be as quick as now pretty quickly. Hopefully that’s going to be the case.”

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Bottas’ thoughts differ from those of McLaren’s Lando Norris, who reckons the new cars will be vastly different. The 22-year-old compared them to Formula 2 cars.

“[They will be] a little bit like F2 in a way, I think, where you see more fighting the car and stuff,” said the Briton.

“But I could be wrong because things are always changing. It’s like what I drove one month ago is going to be quite very different to what I drive now, and it’s going to be very different probably again when we get to the first race,” he added.

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