Valtteri Bottas says he definitely feels potential in the new Alfa Romeo C42 despite the tough first pre-season test it had at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.
Alfa Romeo completed just 175 laps across the three days of running, hampered by a number of reliability issues and problems with the car porpoising — or bouncing on the straights — as many teams did. With the C42 officially launched on Sunday as Alfa Romeo showed off its new livery, Bottas says the initial feelings actually excite him despite the hard work that still lies ahead.
“I’ve got some kind of feeling, of course,” Bottas said. “The nice feeling is that I definitely feel that there is potential. There’s some strong areas in the car in certain type of corners. But also of course immediately, points to work on — with the balance, with some of the behavior, but nothing that we shouldn’t be able to fix. So it feels like we’re still in the very early stages of actually discovering the car.
“For me it was quite limited running that we had, only with two different compounds, only with very few setup changes, so there’s still so much more to discover. That’s what I’m really aiming to do in the test and get a better understanding in Bahrain. There’s work to do, I’m not saying anything against that, but also I feel there is potential in this package and I’m looking forward to discover more about it with the team.”
Switching from Mercedes where the team won the constructors’ championship in all five years that Bottas raced there, the Finn says he will be leaning on his experience to try and push Alfa Romeo forward.
“It’s now the third team I’m racing with. First, obviously, I was with Williams for four years and with Mercedes for five years and with both teams, we got some decent results and success, especially in the last five years.
“So for sure I’ve been inside a team that knows how to win, what it really takes in terms of the teamwork, in terms of the machinery and how you work. I think with the team spirit, I’ve learned so much that actually if you can get the spirit up, it really boosts the performance in every area. Of course, I’ve gathered some technical knowledge as well and learned a few things about driving along the way, so I’ll try to put all those things to the best use.”