Valtteri Bottas: 2019 has been my best year ever in F1
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Valtteri Bottas insisted the 2022 cars are more similar to the 2021 versions than McLaren star Lando Norris has alluded to. Bottas has now switched to Alfa Romeo from Mercedes, replacing Kimi Raikkonen after the 2007 world champion retired.
While the Silver Arrows battled Red Bull across a controversial season, Bottas signed a multi-year deal with Alfa Romeo from the 2022 season.
The Finn helped Mercedes retain their Constructors’ Championship while he scored 226 points to finish third in the drivers’ standings.
The 2022 cars will look and perform very differently compared to the machinery of recent years.
Bottas has used simulators for next season’s car at both Mercedes and Alfa Romeo, and he is confident they will not be too different from this past year’s car.
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While Norris feels all drivers will be forced to adapt their respective driving styles to perform best in the 2022 cars, Bottas believes the handling is remarkably similar to the 2021 challengers.
“At least at that point, it felt like the cars are a bit off in terms of downforce,” Bottas told Motorsport.com.
“But the overall feeling, at least in the sim, wasn’t that dissimilar in either of the simulators.
“We can’t simulate following other cars and stuff like that, but it’s not crazy different.
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“Maybe still a bit less downforce but, like I said, that will change.”
Bottas also believes the loss in speed and performance compared to recent models in the turbo hybrid era will be diminished.
The Finn is confident the sport will reach a point where there will be very little difference between the speeds of current cars and the future designs in the new era.
“It’s been fun, especially last year , the cars were even faster than this year, with more downforce,” Bottas added.
“They’ve been nice but I’ll let you know next year how the new ones [are].
“If the racing is better and we can follow more closer, then it should be even more fun, and I think the cars in the future will be as quick as now pretty quickly.
“Hopefully that’s going to be the case.”
F1 will return in 2022 for preseason testing on February 23 before the opening Bahrain Grand Prix on March 20.
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