Valtteri Bottas acknowledged his shock at his previous squad’s troubles in 2022 after placing second to Mercedes’ George Russell and well above of Lewis Hamilton at Imola.
The extent to which Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton have struggled thus far in the 2022 season has astonished Valtteri Bottas.
Bottas joined Alfa Romeo in 2022 following 5 trophy-laden seasons as Hamilton’s colleague at Mercedes, including a landslide victory of the Constructors’ Championship.
The latest technological restrictions, which take effect in 2022, have placed a kink in the works for Mercedes, whose W13 competitor struggles from porpoising and has shown to be noticeably slower than Ferrari and Red Bull.
While George Russell made the most of the mayhem at the beginning of Sunday’s event at Imola to place fourth, Hamilton was only able to complete 13th after a quiet run.
Bottas, on the other hand, maintained his excellent beginning of 2022 by finishing sixth, barely 0.6s behind Russell, and expressed his happiness with work at Alfa Romeo.
“Obviously, I’m very happy to be in the place where I am at the moment – I’m really enjoying it,” Bottas told media including RacingNews365.com.
“We had better race pace today, but I focus on other things and focus on improving our car, which we did this weekend, and hopefully we can do it in the next race as well.”
Bottas was taken aback by Mercedes’ troubles
Bottas is now only four points behind previous Merc colleague Hamilton in the 2022 Drivers’ Overall standings, and he admitted he didn’t know why the Silver Arrows had had such a bad start to the season.
“I don’t know the reasons why they’re struggling. I don’t know the technical details,” Bottas commented.
“I didn’t see what happened in the race. I would imagine [Hamilton] was stuck behind other cars, and if there’s a DRS train, it’s not easy [to pass].
“I think George had a great start, so that was key for his race today, but I’m sure we’ll see a strong Lewis still in the coming races.
“It is surprising. I never expected it to be that tricky [for Mercedes], but they’re still scoring points, so hopefully, eventually, we can score more than them.”
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F1, F1 2022, Formula 1, Grand Prix, Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Valtteri Bottas, George Russell, Alfa Romeo