Valtteri Bottas’ first season with Alfa Romeo was largely an enjoyable one, with the Finnish driver having claimed seven points finishes from the first nine races of 2022, before his season drastically changed.
Alfa Romeo probably couldn’t believe how well they started the new aerodynamic era of the sport, with Bottas having astonishingly claimed sixth at the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix.
What made this result even sweeter for the Hinwil-based side is that it wasn’t a fluke result, as the ex-Mercedes driver went and claimed fifth place at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix.
Alfa Romeo truly designed a very competitive package; however, they were unable to maintain their impeccable start to the season following a severe lack of upgrades.
At the start of the year, Alfa Romeo were comfortably amongst McLaren, Alpine, and even Mercedes occasionally; however, once the other sides introduced updates the pace of the C42 vanished.
The team simply didn’t develop upgrades as quickly as their competitors, something which resulted in an astonishing 10-race point-less streak.
Thankfully, the side sealed sixth in the Constructors’ Championship thanks to their impressive start to the year, despite an incredible late comeback from Aston Martin.
Bottas’ P5 at Imola ultimately sealed P6 for Alfa Romeo, with Aston Martin’s best individual result of the year being sixth.
Had they developed upgrades throughout the season then perhaps the Swiss outfit could’ve challenged McLaren for fifth, something they presumably will be targeting next season.
Looking back on the year, Bottas believes the team will “take” their P6 in the Constructors’ Championship with some satisfaction, and that their strong start to the season has left the team “really hungry” to do the same in 2023.
“In this sport, and as a driver, you always think we should have got more. That’s the feeling,” Bottas told GPFans.
“But still, if I take a step back and think about the expectations last year for this year, I think we’d still take it.
“With that feeling we got at the beginning of the year, consistently scoring, sometimes even sixth place, fifth place, you definitely miss that kind of performance.
“But it was really important for the team to feel that, at the beginning of the year, that ‘Yes, we can do it. We can be consistently there’.
“Mexico was positive in terms of the performance but before that, it was like everyone definitely missed that feeling of being in the points all the time.
“So the team is really hungry to get back to that, so that’s good.”