Mercedes has "not seen Bottas as relaxed as he is now" in F1

Mercedes has "not seen Valtteri Bottas as relaxed as he is now" since signing an Alfa Romeo deal for 2022, according to the Formula 1 team's trackside engineering director Andrew Shovlin.

Mercedes has "not seen Bottas as relaxed as he is now" in F1

In early September Mercedes announced it had signed Williams' George Russell to partner Lewis Hamilton for 2022 and beyond, with Valtteri Bottas moving to Alfa Romeo on a multi-year deal.

Ever since the deal was announced, Bottas has seemingly been flourishing, taking his first win of the campaign in Turkey and scoring three poles in addition to two sprint race wins.

Bottas admitted that his long-term contract with Alfa Romeo "felt almost like a weight lifted off the shoulders", having signed his first proper multi-year deal in F1 instead of having to fight for his seat at both Williams and Mercedes.

When asked if Mercedes had seen a change in Bottas, the Brackley outfit's trackside engineering director Shovlin admitted that he hadn't seen the Finn "as relaxed" as he is now.

"Valtteri has always had a lot of a lot of speed there," Shovlin told Sky Sports F1 in Qatar.

"I think as he said, knowing what his future is, having a long-term contract has been quite a big thing.

"He's just driving because he loves driving and the car's working well, and he's having a lot of fun out there, so we've not seen Valtteri as relaxed as he is now.

"And he's doing a brilliant job for us, so we're happy."

Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes

Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

As teammate Hamilton conceded he was off the pace on Friday, Bottas led the way in the Qatar Grand Prix's second practice session, which is most representative of qualifying and race conditions at Losail's inaugural F1 night race.

Shovlin said "Valtteri looked like the man out there" and is confident Hamilton will get more comfortable with his Mercedes W12 on Saturday.

"Valtteri was quick on a single lap, very good on a long run," he added.

"And if the car's working well, then we'll get the car working well with Lewis. So for us, it's been an encouraging Friday from that point of view.

"It's a new circuit for us; we do a lot of simulation work and then you put the car on track and the big question is does simulation match what we're seeing on the circuit.

"The car's working well, happily, it's coming about where we expected to be honest. And Valtteri has had a really, really strong day from him. So overall, yeah, we're pretty pleased with it."

Read Also:
shares
comments

Related video

What's behind FIA's change of focus on Qatar F1 track limits
Previous article

What's behind FIA's change of focus on Qatar F1 track limits

Next article

Qatar GP: Bottas leads Mercedes 1-2 in final practice

Qatar GP: Bottas leads Mercedes 1-2 in final practice
Load comments
The factors that could negate Red Bull's practice gap to Mercedes Prime

The factors that could negate Red Bull's practice gap to Mercedes

Mercedes led the way in practice for Formula 1’s first race in Jeddah, where Red Bull was off the pace on both single-lap and long runs. But, if Max Verstappen can reverse the results on Saturday, factors familiar in motorsport’s main electric single-seater category could be decisive in another close battle with Lewis Hamilton...

Why Norris doesn’t expect Mr Nice Guy praise for much longer Prime

Why Norris doesn’t expect Mr Nice Guy praise for much longer

Earning praise from rivals has been a welcome sign that Lando Norris is becoming established among Formula 1's elite. But the McLaren driver is confident that his team's upward curve can put him in the mix to contend for titles in the future, when he's hoping the compliments will be replaced by being deemed an equal adversary

Formula 1
Dec 2, 2021
What Ferrari still needs to improve to return to F1 title contention Prime

What Ferrari still needs to improve to return to F1 title contention

After a disastrous 2020 in which it slumped to sixth in the F1 constructors' standings, Ferrari has rebounded strongly and is on course to finish third - despite regulations that forced it to carryover much of its forgettable SF1000 machine. Yet while it can be pleased with its improvement, there are still steps it must make if 2022 is to yield a return to winning ways

Formula 1
Dec 2, 2021
How F1 teams and personnel react in pressurised situations Prime

How F1 teams and personnel react in pressurised situations

OPINION: The pressure is firmly on Red Bull and Mercedes as Formula 1 2021 embarks on its final double-header. How the respective teams deal with that will be a crucial factor in deciding the outcome of the drivers' and constructors' championships, as Motorsport.com's technical consultant and ex-McLaren F1 engineer Tim Wright explains.

Formula 1
Dec 1, 2021
How getting sacked from Benetton made Mercedes' Allison Prime

How getting sacked from Benetton made Mercedes' Allison

He’s had a hand in world championship-winning Formula 1 cars for Benetton, Renault and Mercedes, and was also a cog in the Schumacher-Ferrari axis. Having recently ‘moved upstairs’ as Mercedes chief technical officer, James Allison tells Stuart Codling about his career path and why being axed by Benetton was one of the best things that ever happened to him.

Formula 1
Nov 28, 2021
The remarkable qualities that propelled Kubica’s F1 comeback Prime

The remarkable qualities that propelled Kubica’s F1 comeback

It’s easy to look at Robert Kubica’s second Formula 1 career and feel a sense of sadness that he didn’t reach the heights for which he seemed destined. But as Ben Anderson discovered, performance and results are almost meaningless in this context – something more fundamental and incredible happened…

Formula 1
Nov 27, 2021
The humbling changes Ricciardo made to deliver for McLaren Prime

The humbling changes Ricciardo made to deliver for McLaren

From being lapped by his own teammate in Monaco to winning at Monza, it’s been a tumultuous first season at McLaren for Daniel Ricciardo. But, as he tells STUART CODLING, there’s more to the story of his turnaround than having a lovely summer holiday during Formula 1's summer break...

Formula 1
Nov 26, 2021
The potential benefits of losing the F1 constructors' title Prime

The potential benefits of losing the F1 constructors' title

As the battle continues to rage over the F1 2021 drivers' championship, teams up and down the grid are turning their attentions to the prize money attributed to each position in the constructors' standings. But F1's sliding scale rules governing wind tunnel and CFD use will soften the blow for those who miss out on the top places

Formula 1
Nov 25, 2021