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Valtteri Bottas: The Troubled Flight of the Flying Finn

Written by Nia Nieminen, Edited by Debargha Banerjee

Credit: Getty images - Nurphoto

The thirty-three year old Finn keeps facing problems with his performance as the 2023 season goes on.

Valtteri Bottas is currently driving his second season with the Italian team Alfa Romeo KICK. His 2022 season was a tough one after leaving Mercedes-AMG behind in 2021 after five years together

His last year in Mercedes was rocky and he even became well-known for his terribly unlucky performance at the 2021 Hungarian Grand Prix where he started a domino of crashes and DNFs. This was due to the pressure that was coming from inside the team, but also the rumors of George Russell replacing him. Bottas then later on announced his departure and Russell was in.

The season is almost halfway done and we’re getting closer to the summer break day by day. Bottas has only managed to gain five points and is currently tied with Oscar Piastri in the driver standings. His teammate Zhou Guanyu is just behind him by one point.

Despite the talk of his poor performance, Bottas is hungry for more and seems to be even motivated to achieve more with the team this season. This just seems hard at the moment since Alfa Romeo keeps facing technical issues with the cars. These technical issues have reportedly affected the Finn's driving hence he keeps placing outside the points.

The 2023 Canadian GP was the best race for the team in a while despite their poor qualifying. In the race, Bottas finished on P10 and Guanyu on P16. The one point Bottas gained was really important for him and the team since he hasn’t gained any points after the Bahrain GP.

So the question is: Is Bottas once again under pressure, since his teammate keeps performing better than him, or is the car just not working like they planned?

Bottas has a multi-year contract until the end of 2025, but if the problems with the car keep affecting his performance, it might be realistic for him to change teams before the contract ends.

Alfa Romeo’s performance is getting better as they keep upgrading the car by updating their flaws. We might see Bottas gain bigger points as the season reveals, but at the moment he's more likely fighting for P10 and working on his Qualifying consistency.

He states in a Finnish news article Kymen Sanomat “We’re working as hard as we can to get where we want to be. We haven’t been there this year.”

There’s been talk about him retiring after his contract ends but so far the Finn hasn’t expressed any intentions on retirement. Instead he has shown interest in Audi joining the team in the 2026 season. (source)


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