Valtteri Bottas stayed with Mercedes for five seasons before George Russell replaced him ahead of the start of the 2022 F1 championship. While the Finnish driver spent most of his time fighting at the front, it was not an easy job to be ‘dominant’ Lewis Hamilton’s teammate. The 32-year-old recently revealed that he is having the time of his life after switching to Alfa Romeo from the Silver Arrows. Bottas never got a shot of challenging Hamilton for the championship battle as the German outfit clearly preferred the British driver. However, Valtteri realized after five seasons that his championship dream was not a possibility at Mercedes and moved on to start a new challenge with Alfa Romeo in the midfield.

Things are quite different for Valtteri Bottas as he finds himself in a new leadership role at the Swiss outfit. His teammate driver Zhou Guanyu is still fairly new in the F1 circuit. Bottas admitted in April that he felt much happier not being a part of Mercedes, dominated by Lewis Hamilton. The Finnish driver was much happier in life and felt like he was a big part of the Alfa Romeo team. He reckoned it was nicer to have more authority over matters. The 32-year-old added, “If I ask something, it happens-and everyone really listens.”

Zhou & Bottas

Valtteri further told that he was not just a driver at Alfa Romeo but also an important team member. He revealed that it was quite hard at Mercedes to really step up due to Hamilton’s dominant presence. Valtteri Bottas continued, “And I think Lewis also in a team is quite a dominant person in a way. It was pretty clear that I couldn’t have the same role there as what I have here.”

Valtteri Bottas Claims Driving In The Midfield Is Completely Different From The Front

While Mercedes have struggled this year to be at the front, Valtteri spent most of his time during the team’s complete dominance. The Finnish driver had to worry about one or two cars and often ended on podiums, with a lot of P2 finishes at Mercedes. However, being at Alfa Romeo is completely different. Valtteri Bottas faced a new challenge of competing for points in the midfield, where one decision could make a lot of differences in the race. The Alfa Romeo driver stated, “This season is probably the most enjoyable so far.”

Bottas & Hamilton
Bottas & Hamilton

Valtteri suggested that racing is also much more fun in the midfield due to strategical differences from the front. He believed midfield was a completely different game as one decision could jump the driver many places at the front or the back. At Mercedes, Valtteri had to steer clear of just one team, usually at the front. Hence, he only had to focus on two cars. The Finnish concluded, “But now I can have six cars around that we need to be aware of. So that’s nice.”