‘Lewis felt the same’: Valtteri Bottas reveals he was overruled at Mercedes

Valtteri Bottas spent five years at Mercedes, partnering Sir Lewis Hamilton for the entirety of his career at the Silver Arrows.

Alfa Romeo’s Valtteri Bottas has revealed that he was occasionally overruled by simulation numbers during his time at Mercedes.

The Finn joined the eight-time champions alongside Sir Lewis Hamilton in 2017, and he spent five years with them, winning 10 races in the process.

He played an integral role in the Silver Arrows’ championship successes, guiding them to the teams’ title every year that he was with them.

Hamilton, meanwhile, won the Drivers’ Championship in four of the five seasons that the pair raced together.

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Between 2017 and 2021, Bottas and Hamilton built a strong rapport between one another, and they had a team of hundreds of engineers helping them develop the car.

Driver feedback is vital to a team making upgrades and perennially improving their lap time, and while what two of the best in the business have to say goes very far, it is not the be all and end all as far as Mercedes are concerned.

Simulations occasionally showed something different to what the drivers were reporting out on track, so the development of the car did not necessarily go the way Bottas felt it should.

“It is just how a top team works,” he said, quoted by GPFans.

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“I feel like Lewis felt the same as well, he sometimes wanted to go in his direction, but the engineers would be like: ‘No, the computer says this’.

“So it was sometimes a bit of a battle but it is good to discuss those things and it’s just the way it is.

“They have pretty advanced technology and simulation tools that allow it and quite often the computer was right but not 100 per cent.”

While the technology at Alfa Romeo’s base has been improving in recent months, the majority of their development work is still done through human touch.

Bottas prefers that to the computer-oriented methods used by his previous employer.

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“The simulation tools are developing well in Hinwil, but for now, it feels like there is more human and driver effect on steering things, which I personally enjoy a lot,” he added.

Bottas and rookie team-mate, Zhou Guanyu, have helped Alfa Romeo to sixth in the Constructors’ Standings heading into the final six rounds of the 2022 season.

The Swiss side will split with the Alfa Romeo brand at the end of next season, before Audi are expected to complete a takeover of the Sauber Group by 2026, moving the operation from Switzerland to Germany.