When Valtteri Bottas made the switch from World Championship-winning constructor Mercedes to Alfa Romeo last season, he would have been pleasantly surprised by the Hinwil-based outfit’s start to the year. Alfa Romeo had finished ninth in the Constructors’ standings in 2021 but was offered a new lease of life under Formula 1’s new technical regulations introduced last term. With Bottas and Zhou Guanyu, the team secured points in seven of the first nine races – including a stunning performance at the Spanish Grand Prix that saw the Finn battling Mercedes and Ferrari before winding up sixth, having finished fifth two races previous at Imola. But only four more points would be added to the tally across the remaining 13 races, with Alfa Romeo scraping sixth in the Constructors’ from a resurgent Aston Martin team on countback alone – by virtue of Bottas’ Imola performance. In an exclusive interview with RacingNews365.com , the 10-time Grand Prix winner outlined his targets for the new campaign. “Top five in the Constructors’, I think that is realistic,” said Bottas. “It’s going to be super close but that means we can make a step forward from last year. “Consistency is going to be key because last year it was a big hit thanks to the reliability concerns. So yeah, top five constructors’ for me.” “The future of the team looks great, so it’s quite exciting.” Valtteri Bottas Alfa Romeo departs as Sauber’s lead partner at the end of the season ahead of the tie-in with Audi for 2026, with the Italian manufacturer having helped turn fortunes around from a time when the future of the team was in doubt due to financial constraints. But despite the positive outlook created since 2019, the partnership has failed to yield a podium – the last being Kamui Kobayashi’s third place at the 2012 Japanese Grand Prix. But Bottas has his sights on a top three result given the effects of the new technical regulations and the competition-levelling budget cap, explaining: “At least one podium, that’s what I’m dreaming of. You never know. It might be possible. “I think that [fifth in the Constructors’ and a podium] is a good target for us as a team and everybody agrees we don’t want to go backwards from last year. “The nice thing is that the future of the team looks great. So it’s quite exciting.” Alfa Romeo underwent an organisational restructure over the winter after former CEO and Team Principal Frederic Vasseur took up counsel at Ferrari, replacing Mattia Binotto. But the scalp of poaching Andreas Seidl from McLaren to fill the CEO void was a vision of the forward movements made by the team, whilst Alessandro Alunni Bravi was placed in a Team Representative role as part of the changes. “I feel like everything is in a good place,” added Bottas. “Andreas… I’ve actually been impressed with how quickly he’s been able to make an impact. “Everybody within the team feels like everything is in a good place and in good hands. The set-up that was done with Alessandro and Andreas, I think it works well so far. “Obviously, it was a shame to see Fred leaving, but if I was him I would do the same. That’s how it is.” Remaining realistic about the chance to out-perform his former team boss, Bottas conceded: “We are still a bit off the pace and it is a difficult task. “Still, relative to Ferrari, we are still a smaller team, we’re a customer team so it is not easy. This year, [beating Vasseur and Ferrari] is a bit unrealistic.”

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