Valtteri Bottas insists he is enjoying Formula 1 ‘more than ever’ at Alfa Romeo after leaving Mercedes

·1-min read
 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Alfa Romeo’s Valtteri Bottas says he is enjoying Formula 1 “more than ever” despite no longer challenging at the top of the leaderboard with Mercedes.

The Finnish driver spent five seasons at Mercedes from 2017-2021, winning five straight constructors’ titles, before George Russell replaced him for 2022.

Yet Bottas, who is currently ninth in the Drivers Standings on 46 points, insists he is enjoying battling more teams further down the field despite only recording a top finish of fifth at Imola.

“In the past at Mercedes, normally it used to be only one team we battled against, so then it was just focused on those two cars,” he told Motorsport.com.

“But now I can have six cars around that we need to be aware of. So that’s nice. This season is probably the most enjoyable so far. Okay, maybe you don’t always remember things, but it really feels like I’m enjoying F1 more than ever.

“When it gets to the racing it’s a lot of good fun, especially in the midfield and how different it is strategy-wise in the races. It’s more like one decision can jump you many places. It’s a different game.

The 32-year-old, who started his F1 career back in 2013 at Williams, added that having a “multi-year contract” at Alfa helped relieve stress about his F1 future too.

“This is actually the first time for me because even with Williams, it was always one year,” he said.

“It’s the first time I haven’t had to stress and answer the questions because now, for the drivers who don’t know, for sure it won’t be nice.”