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Valtteri Bottas

Exclusive: Alfa Romeo boss backs Bottas to rediscover his confidence

Valtteri Bottas will embark on a new chapter of his F1 career with Alfa Romeo in 2022 and, in an exclusive interview with RacingNews365.com, team boss Fred Vasseur explains why he believes the Finn will thrive.

Bottas Turkey 2021
To news overview © Merccedes

Alfa Romeo team boss Fred Vasseur believes that Valtteri Bottas will grow in confidence from taking on the responsibility of his new challenge.

Bottas joins the Swiss outfit on a multi-year deal following five years with Mercedes, during which he accrued 10 race wins as well as helping the team to win consecutive Constructors' Championships.

At times, though, Bottas has admitted to struggling with his confidence and mental health, especially with the added pressure of only being signed on one-year deals throughout his stint with the Silver Arrows.

Whilst the likelihood is that he will not be immediately fighting for wins at Alfa Romeo, Vasseur has explained in an exclusive interview with RacingNews365.com why he believes Bottas will thrive at the team, given the different role he will be playing to that at Mercedes.

"I spend a lot of time with Valtteri, [and] I think he's taking it as a new challenge, a new opportunity," Vasseur said.

"I was crystal clear that it will be much more difficult to win a race with the car next year than with the Mercedes.

"But I think he's also taking the fact that his own position into the team will change, and it's a challenge for him and a new responsibility.

"And I'm convinced because I know him pretty well, that he will grow up with this kind of responsibility. He will develop himself, he will be much more self-confident, and that will help the team and it will help also Valtteri himself."

Alfa Romeo wanted to offer Bottas stability

Vasseur says that one of the priorities when first in discussions with Bottas was to offer him stability, and in turn he is expecting Bottas to offer full commitment to the team, all of which he believes will add to his confidence.

"The situation again will be different, because so far it was very often [the case that] he was in a six-month contract, or one-year contract with the option in two months, and blah, blah, blah," Vasseur explained.

"And the first part of the discussion was to give him the stability. Say, 'Valtteri, I trust you 100 percent. I can see every single weekend what you are able to do in qualifying against [or] in front of Lewis [Hamilton], who is the ultimate reference.

"'For me, you are the guy, and I want to give you the stability and you have to give back to the team the stability'.

"The fact that we need to have a reference, fully committed, 200 percent supportive to the company, 200 percent present to the company, and to be a real push for the performance."

Vasseur also thinks that Bottas' extensive experience with a championship-winning F1 outfit will be a positive factor for "the development of the team and the company" of Alfa Romeo.

The squad will field a completely new line-up in 2022, with Bottas being joined by rookie driver Guanyu Zhou.

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