Alfa Romeo sporting director Beat Zehnder has praised Valtteri Bottas for the way he has acclimatised with the crew, staying calm in conditions the place others would have “freaked out”.
Alfa are the one crew to have an all-new driver line-up in 2022 in Bottas and Zhou Guanyu, the Finn tasked with turning into the crew chief alongside his rookie team-mate.
Given the crew’s poor 2021 season, it will have been straightforward for Bottas to be sceptical concerning the competitiveness of his new crew this yr, however the sporting director says his method has been the polar reverse.
“He’s all the time motivating,” Zehnder enthused to Sky. “We’ve had different drivers who would have freaked out however Valtteri says ‘guys, I think about you, we’ll get this carried out’. He’s calm in himself and that additionally helps us quite a bit.”
Group principal Fred Vasseur has additionally supplied related reward of his new driver, saying that regardless of Lewis Hamilton being the dominant drive at Mercedes his tempo has been sturdy all through – he simply had the misfortune of partnering the seven-time former World Champion on the peak of his powers.
Given his years at a championship-winning crew, Bottas has introduced loads of data with him to Hinwil.
“I don’t know if I’ve to be stunned there, however he’s doing his job,” stated Vasseur, quoted by Motorsport-Complete.
“He has carried out very properly up to now few years by way of pure efficiency. He was all the time within the shadow of Lewis, however I believe anybody can be within the shadow of Lewis.
“I used to be satisfied he may do it [be team leader] and to date he’s doing a terrific job. In the way in which he offers the event path, the best method to enhance the automobile and enhance the crew in each element.
“He involves us with an unlimited quantity of expertise from Mercedes – and that helps us enormously.”
Alfa Romeo have made vital progress with their 2022 automobile in comparison with final yr, once they completed final however one within the Constructors’ Championship and appeared properly off the tempo of the midfield for many of the season.
Vasseur admitted the crew’s improved kind has galvanised his employees of their quest to remain within the chasing pack behind Pink Bull and Ferrari, and they’re persevering with to seek for each small enchancment they’ll – with Bottas himself desirous to battle along with his former crew because of this.
“Definitely, a part of the motivation of a racing crew is as a result of outcomes,” stated Vasseur. “But it surely additionally works the opposite method round – when you’ve got issues, it turns into tougher.
“I believe it’s step ahead [from 2021]. Everyone seems to be far more motivated and targeted now.
“And we all know each single element will repay. As a result of each time we struggle with large groups for hundredths [of a second] it’s a giant success for all of us by way of work within the manufacturing facility.”