Valtteri Bottas thinks this year’s Alfa Romeo, the last Sauber to feature the name of the Italian carmaker ahead of the transition to Audi, will be “fast”.
The now 25 percent Audi-owned Swiss-based team’s 2023 car is yet to be seen publicly ahead of the forthcoming launch event.
But Finn Bottas is quoted by Sky Italia as saying: “I love the colours, the livery. In a certain sense it’s even meaner.
“I’ve tested it on the simulator too and it seems fast. We have improved what we needed to improve,” said the 33-year-old, who finished his first year with Alfa Romeo tenth overall.
It was Bottas’ first season after losing his seat as Lewis Hamilton’s Mercedes teammate.
“With my competitive nature, it was difficult to come to terms,” he told Helsingin Sanomat newspaper when asked about going head-to-head with Hamilton between 2017 and 2021.
“It wasn’t until the final year that I was able to admit that Lewis was the better driver. I always wondered what I could do to beat him and win the world title.
“It was a pretty tiring five years.”
To the outside, Bottas found a better work-life balance in the last period of time, as he enjoys his relationship and training schedule with girlfriend and professional cyclist Tiffany Cromwell.
“I got used to pain – physical and moral,” Bottas is quoted as saying. “At some point, everything got out of control and turned into an addiction.
“I remembering going for a run, coming home and steaming some broccoli to fill my stomach a little, and then going out for a second run secret from the coach.
“Somehow I thought I had to do that. If the team told me I had to be 68 kilos, even though I was naturally maybe 73 kilos, I’d do whatever it takes to get there.
“The eating disorder was not officially diagnosed, but it definitely occurred. It wasn’t great. I wanted to be the best. As a result, I needed a psychologist.
“His first assessment was that I was almost unconscious – like a robot whose only goal was to get my way. But it’s true – at that time I had no other life than Formula 1.”
For 2023, Alfa Romeo has split with the Robert Kubica-linked title sponsor Orlen, signed up a new main backer Stake, and brought in former McLaren boss Andreas Seidl as Group CEO.
“So far everything has gone well in the simulator,” Bottas’ continuing teammate, Chinese Guanyu Zhou, also told Sky Italia.
“We have improved all the weak points and we hope to be able to fight again in the midfield.”