Valtteri Bottas says his role with the Alfa Romeo Formula 1 team is unlike anything he’s previously experienced during his career.
Bottas joined Alfa Romeo last year, following several years at the highly successful Mercedes outfit.
The Finn was partnered alongside rookie Zhou Guanyu and says that his experience in comparison the Chinese driver meant that he was naturally tasked with delivering important driver feedback.
“It’s definitely been interesting, in this team I feel like my role has been very different from what I have ever had in Formula 1,” Bottas said, speaking at the launch of the Alfa Romeo C43.
“A bit more involvement, a bit more information going through me in a way. Obviously the work started early last year together.
“I tried to give all of my experience and technical knowledge I could from the past, and then that work continues.
“Throughout all of last year, whether it’s an issue with the car balance or whatever, we’re always feeding back the best I can.
“When I’m back at the factory, I like to get updates on how things are going. If I ever have any ideas or questions, then I ask and we speak.
“So it’s really an open situation in the team. I love to know as much as I can about the details of the new car and I think it’s fair to say the set-up direction we’ve gone, the development of the car balance throughout all of last year has been going in the right direction.
“That work continues and we’ll see with this new car, hopefully everything is in an even better place in those situations.”
Zhou, who enters his second F1 season, has placed higher expectations on himself for the upcoming campaign compared to 2022.
The 23-year-old commended the relationship he shares with Bottas, believing there is a strong team spirit at Alfa Romeo.
“It’s been like that since the very beginning of 2022,” he said. “My first year in the Alfa Romeo F1 team, I didn’t know Valtteri too well.
“I needed to take my time understand him, understanding the team as well, the engineering crew.
“It’s fair to say I’ve really enjoyed the first season together, there’s been a massive help from inside and out from the team and my team-mate.
“Many of you might’ve seen the clip on the radio in Sao Paulo, Valtteri was telling me some tips during the race. I didn’t get that message! But still, you see the team spirit inside and out.”