Bottas joined Alfa Romeo originally of the season following a five-year stint with Mercedes that noticed him rating 10 grand prix victories and twice end as runner-up within the drivers’ championship to teammate Lewis Hamilton.
Whereas the Finn has taken a step again from the common front-running kind he loved at Mercedes, he has spearheaded Alfa Romeo’s efforts within the midfield this season, scoring 41 of its 46 factors thus far.
Bottas signed a multi-year settlement with Alfa Romeo for this 12 months, offering certainty over his future that he by no means beforehand loved with both Williams or Mercedes, who opted for yearly contract renewals.
“That is truly the primary time for me, as a result of even with Williams, it was all the time one 12 months,” Bottas informed Motorsport.com in an interview.
“It is the primary time I have never needed to stress and reply the questions, as a result of now for the drivers who do not know, for positive it isn’t going to be good.”
Bottas admitted that he felt extra relaxed and higher in a position to “simply absolutely deal with the job”, giving him extra freedom to get pleasure from racing in F1.
“This season might be probably the most satisfying thus far,” Bottas mentioned. “OK, possibly you do not know all the time keep in mind issues, however it actually appears like I am having fun with F1 greater than ever.
“When it will get to the racing, it is loads of good enjoyable, particularly like within the midfield and the way completely different it’s strategy-wise within the races. It is extra like one choice can soar you a lot locations. It is a completely different recreation.
Valtteri Bottas, Alfa Romeo C42
Photograph by: Antonin Vincent / DPPI
“Previously at Mercedes, usually it was just one workforce that we battled towards, so then it is simply targeted on these two automobiles. However now I can have six automobiles round that we want to pay attention to. In order that’s good.”
Bottas mentioned the surroundings at Alfa Romeo felt “fairly younger” and “like a brand new race workforce”, in addition to being “a bit extra relaxed” than Mercedes which was usually combating for wins and championships.
“In fact, once I work, I work exhausting however then once I’m off, I can do no matter I need,” Bottas mentioned. “Life with the workforce and in F1 and out of doors of it’s a very nice stability.”
Bottas is a prolific consumer of social media, and posted a cheeky picture of him skinny-dipping in a stream in the USA up on his Instagram account earlier this 12 months. The image – dubbed the ‘Bot-ass’ – was became a print for a charity public sale that raised €50,000.
Requested if he may have posted the image when he was at Mercedes, Bottas mentioned: “I doubt I might have executed it.
“It is also like, out of the observe, I am so relaxed and even like folks’s opinion, I simply care a lot lower than I used to. And it was a pleasant photograph!”