Valtteri Bottas has stated that he is enjoying life as an Alfa Romeo driver during a joint presentation in Zurich and at the outfit’s headquarters in Hinwil, Switzerland, where the team revealed their new-look car for the 2023 Formula 1 season.
Unveiled on Tuesday (February 7), the car, named C43, has a bold red and black livery, replacing the red and white color scheme used in recent seasons. New title sponsor Stake takes center stage on the car, which will be seen under Alfa Romeo branding for the last year before Audi joins forces with the Sauber-run outfit.
The team has undergone a managerial reshuffle, with Frederic Vassur, who moved to Scuderia Ferrari, getting replaced by James Vowles, Mercedes' head of strategy until last year. On the driving side, however, Bottas and Zhou Guanyu will continue to spearhead the team's battle to be the best of the midfield.
Speaking at the launch event, Bottas stated that he was looking forward to getting the new season started after having a good off-season. He said (via Speedcafe):
“I’m full of energy and keen to go. Always as a driver, every year you learn something more about yourself. You learn what works to be fit in the car, but at the same time you learn about yourself, what is sometimes good for de-stressing, what activities etcetera.”
“Fitness-wise, from all the numbers, I am at my peak – at least on the bike. But as the season gets closer, I’ve started to do more specific training for driving in the gym etcetera. On a fitness side, I think I’m sorted.”
As proof of his fitness, the Finn stated that he covered 'just shy of 2000' kilometers on his bike. He said:
“It was actually a good off-season for that. I spent most of my break in Australia and a bit of time in New Zealand. Obviously, it is summertime, so [how many] kilometres in December, I think I was just shy of 2000. But it was mainly on gravel and stuff, so not so easy kilometres. It was a good time for that.”
Valtteri Bottas has enjoyed his time at Alfa Romeo so far and doesn't want to be anywhere else. He said (via The Race):
“It [Valtteri Bottas' association with Alfa Romeo] is working absolutely. I’m enjoying it and wouldn’t want to be in any other place. I had enough time to prepare myself to take this as a project. I’m really enjoying it.”
“It was quite an exhausting five years” - Valtteri Bottas on his Mercedes stint
Valtteri Bottas spent five years with Mercedes as Lewis Hamilton's teammate, joining the team in 2017 before moving to Alfa Romeo at the end of the 2021 season.
Looking back at his time with the Silver Arrows, he called his stint there “an exhausting five years”. He said:
“For such a competitive nature, it was hard to accept. It was only in the last year that I could accept that Lewis Hamilton was a better driver. I always wondered how I could beat him and win the World Championship. It was quite an exhausting five years.”