Bottas: 2022 probably my most enjoyable F1 season so far

Valtteri Bottas believes 2022 is "probably the most enjoyable" season he has experienced to date in Formula 1 thanks to stability over his future with Alfa Romeo.

Bottas: 2022 probably my most enjoyable F1 season so far

Bottas joined Alfa Romeo at the beginning of the season following a five-year stint with Mercedes that saw him score 10 grand prix victories and twice finish as runner-up in the drivers' championship to team-mate Lewis Hamilton.

While the Finn has taken a step back from the regular front-running form he enjoyed at Mercedes, he has spearheaded Alfa Romeo's efforts in the midfield this season, scoring 41 of its 46 points so far.

Bottas signed a multi-year agreement with Alfa Romeo for this year, providing certainty over his future that he never previously enjoyed with either Williams or Mercedes, who opted for yearly contract renewals.

"This is actually the first time for me, because even with Williams, it was always one year," Bottas told Autosport in an interview.

"It's the first time I haven't had to stress and answer the questions, because now for the drivers who don't know, for sure it's not going to be nice."

Bottas admitted that he felt more relaxed and better able to "just fully focus on the job", giving him more freedom to enjoy racing in F1.

"This season is probably the most enjoyable so far," Bottas said. "OK, maybe you don't always remember things, but it really feels like I'm enjoying F1 more than ever.

"When it gets to the racing, it's a lot of good fun, especially like in the midfield and how different it is strategy-wise in the races. It's more like one decision can jump you many places. It's a different game.

Valtteri Bottas, Alfa Romeo C42

Valtteri Bottas, Alfa Romeo C42

Photo by: Antonin Vincent / DPPI

"In the past at Mercedes, normally it used to be only one team that we battled against, so then it's just focused on those two cars. But now I can have six cars around that we need to be aware of. So that's nice."

Bottas said the environment at Alfa Romeo felt "quite young" and "like a new race team", as well as being "a bit more relaxed" than Mercedes which was regularly fighting for wins and championships.

"Of course, when I work, I work hard but then when I'm off, I can do whatever I want," Bottas said. "Life with the team and in F1 and outside of it is a really nice balance."

Read Also:

Bottas is a prolific user of social media, and posted a cheeky image of him skinny-dipping in a stream in the United States up on his Instagram account earlier this year. The picture - dubbed the 'Bot-ass' - was turned into a print for a charity auction that raised €50,000. 

Asked if he could have posted the picture when he was at Mercedes, Bottas said: "I doubt I would have done it.

"It's also like, out of the track, I'm so relaxed and even like people's opinion, I just care much less than I used to.

"And it was a nice photo!"

shares
comments
Why Binotto retains faith in his F1 strategy team at Ferrari
Previous article

Why Binotto retains faith in his F1 strategy team at Ferrari

Next article

Hamilton's first experience of turning silver into gold

Hamilton's first experience of turning silver into gold
The physical focus bringing out the best of an F1 midfield star Plus

The physical focus bringing out the best of an F1 midfield star

Esteban Ocon likes to point out he’s the first driver since Lewis Hamilton to emerge from a spell as Fernando Alonso’s team-mate with a superior overall points record. While some may disagree, as LUKE SMITH discovered, the 2021 Hungarian GP winner reckons it’s not just luck which has made him France’s pre-eminent Formula 1 driver of the moment…

Formula 1
Nov 28, 2022
How Red Bull's dynamic leader shaped its F1 philosophy Plus

How Red Bull's dynamic leader shaped its F1 philosophy

The death of Dietrich Mateschitz last month has not only deprived Red Bull of its visionary founder, it has shorn Formula 1 of one of its most influential benefactors. Mateschitz himself was famously media-shy, preferring to let the brand do the talking on his behalf. And, while it’s now normal to speak of Red Bull F1 titles and champions made, Mateschitz never assumed it would be easy or even possible – as ANTHONY ROWLINSON discovered during this previously unpublished interview from 2006…

Formula 1
Nov 27, 2022
Can Mercedes break Formula 1's cycle of doom? Plus

Can Mercedes break Formula 1's cycle of doom?

OPINION: Teams that have dominated for long periods throughout Formula 1's history often take years to get back to the top of the tree once they've slipped down. But it remains to be seen whether the same will happen to Mercedes after a challenging 2022 season

Formula 1
Nov 24, 2022
What hurt Perez most in his ill-fated fight for second in Abu Dhabi Plus

What hurt Perez most in his ill-fated fight for second in Abu Dhabi

Arguably the favourite in the battle to finish second best in 2022's Formula 1 standings, Sergio Perez's two-stop strategy at Abu Dhabi couldn't take him ahead of Charles Leclerc when the music stopped - and several key factors ultimately precluded him from the much-coveted runner-up spot

Formula 1
Nov 23, 2022
The Abu Dhabi momentum that can propel Leclerc and Ferrari to F1 2023 success Plus

The Abu Dhabi momentum that can propel Leclerc and Ferrari to F1 2023 success

OPINION: Charles Leclerc achieved his target of sealing runner-up in the 2022 world championship with a masterful drive behind Max Verstappen in Abu Dhabi. And that race contained key elements that may help him, and Ferrari, go one better in Formula 1 2023

Formula 1
Nov 22, 2022
How Verstappen's record-breaking 2022 season compares to the F1 greats Plus

How Verstappen's record-breaking 2022 season compares to the F1 greats

The 2022 Formula 1 season will be remembered as a record book rewriting Max Verstappen masterclass, a completely different challenge to his maiden world championship last year, and a clear sign he is still raising his own level. But where does it stack up against the all-time great F1 campaigns?

Formula 1
Nov 22, 2022
Abu Dhabi Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

Abu Dhabi Grand Prix Driver Ratings

The 2022 Formula 1 season came to a close at the Yas Marina Circuit, where the battle for second in the standings was decided, the wins in a season record extended and a retiring four-time world champion bowed out on a high. Here's how we rated the drivers

Formula 1
Nov 21, 2022
The factors that stopped Perez catching Leclerc in Verstappen's Abu Dhabi triumph Plus

The factors that stopped Perez catching Leclerc in Verstappen's Abu Dhabi triumph

Max Verstappen ended the 2022 Formula 1 season in fitting fashion with a dominant drive to victory in the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. But behind him, early season rival Charles Leclerc achieved his target of securing the runner-up spot with a well-executed a one-stop strategy to beat Sergio Perez, whose pursuit on a two-stop strategy was hampered by several critical factors

Formula 1
Nov 21, 2022