Bottas determined to work well with 'hungry' teammate Zhou


Valtteri Bottas hopes to help carry Alfa Romeo to the next level in F1 and the Finn is banking, among other things, on a productive relationship with rookie teammate Guanyu Zhou to help fulfill that challenge.

Alfa's all-new lineup for 2022 blends Bottas' vast experience as a bona fide Grand Prix winner with the ambitious talent of Zhou, the team's apprentice and China's first F1 driver.

As an easy going but rigorous professional, Bottas has never had any issues with his successive teammates in F1 and indeed the Finn contributed greatly to the trouble-free relationship and harmony Mercedes enjoyed with the latter and Lewis Hamilton during six seasons.

Bottas says his new teammate will be able to rely on Alfa's guidance - starting with team boss Fred Vasseur - to fast track his development.

But as the seasoned member of the Swiss outfit's line-up, the Finn will also pitch in and help further Zhou's progress for the benefit of his team.

"As a driver, your first year in F1 is never easy," said Bottas at the end of last year, quoted by The Race.

"There’s always lots of things to learn. But nowadays, every team is so professional there’s lots of people that the drivers, they get so much support, so much coaching and help that I’m sure that he will develop quickly.

"He’s raced for a long time, a few years in F2 and actually now this year some really, really good results. He’s always been fast, there’s no doubt about that.

"He seems really hungry to learn more and do well. And we’ll work as a team.

"Every team-mate that I’ve had I’ve always been able to work well with them. I don’t see any reason why it wouldn’t work with him."

Bottas admits that the opportunity to be a team leader alongside a debutant was an alluring proposition and one of several factors that decided him to join Alfa Romeo.

But having a multi-year deal for the time in his F1 career and working once again under the guidance of team boss Fred Vasseur were the crucial components of his decision.

"I would say 50% of the decision was because of Fred and knowing him from the past and knowing what I feel like he’s capable of doing with the team," explained Bottas.

"Then probably being in that role of leader of the team and being the more experienced driver in the team.

"I don’t know if I can say number one, I think it’s probably never a good thing to say in a team number one or two! But the one with more experience and a leader.

"And a multi-year deal as well, that was a big factor.

"Plus, whatever I tried to investigate and what I heard from the team about how their progress has been going for next year and what their medium to long term plans are with the team.

"All these things factored together I thought it was the right thing for me."

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