Bottas admits 2023 has been 'a tough ride' for Alfa Romeo as he hopes for more highlights in 2024
Valtteri Bottas conceded that the 2023 season was a “tough ride” for Alfa Romeo after they finished ninth in the constructors’ championship, with the Finn turning his attentions to next year’s "completely new" car.
Having joined the team for the 2022 campaign amid the new technical regulations, Bottas made a promising start to life with Alfa Romeo as he finished in the top-10 seven times in the first nine races.
However, their results dropped off with Bottas only scoring points finishes in two of the remaining 13 events. They wound up sixth in the championship but struggled to emulate that in 2023, where they dropped to ninth.
Bottas himself finished 15th in the drivers’ championship in 2023, scoring just 10 points, as opposed to the 49 he scored in 2022, where he ended up 10th. His seasons best results came in Bahrain and Qatar, where he finished eighth, and speaking last month, Bottas revealed which was the highlight of his year.
“Qatar… All I can remember that it was hot,” joked Bottas. “I don't even know where I finished. So, highlights? I think, sadly, I would say that the very first race of the season, we had a solid weekend, scored immediately, everything was looking quite good.
“But then it's been a tough ride. There's been a few occasions we have scored, but not enough times. So, I'm definitely waiting for more highlights next year with a new car.”
When asked why the performances dropped after that result in Bahrain, he replied: “Yeah, we have brought upgrades pretty consistently all through the year like any team, but some have been decent steps, some really minor.
“So, we haven't found anything big throughout the season. It's been steady progress but that's not enough. Meanwhile, some other teams, they have found big steps, new concepts, innovative things, some might be copying other teams but still we just did steady progress but, in this sport, that's not always enough.
“And ultimately, the biggest thing was how the car was born. It was definitely born better than last year's car but not better enough. That's just how it goes so there's not one thing that is lacking.
“So, that's why I'm really pleased that we're trying to think a bit outside the box now, and with also all the new people we have on board and that will be coming on board.”
Asked what they need to do to be more competitive for the 2024 season-opener in Bahrain, Bottas replied: “In this sport, with the margins we have, it's everything.
“There's nothing fundamental but the good thing is we do have a completely new car with some new ideas with new people in the team and that's exactly what we need now. So, we need to make big steps over the winter. That's the key.”