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Bottas explains how soon-to-be-rebranded Alfa Romeo are ‘thinking outside the box’ with 2024 car

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Valtteri Bottas has revealed that Alfa Romeo – who are set for a change of name over the winter – will enter the 2024 season with a “completely new” car as they look to bounce back from a challenging campaign.

After a run to sixth in last year’s constructors’ standings, the Sauber-run operation slipped to ninth out of 10 teams in the 2023 order, with Bottas and team mate Zhou Guanyu bagging just 16 points between them across 22 races.

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It left Bottas with few positive moments to choose from when looking back on the year gone by, with the Finn’s attention now fixed on the new term and a new car overseen by recently-appointed Technical Director James Key, who arrived from McLaren.

“Highlights? I think, sadly, I would say the very first race of the season,” Bottas commented, going all the way back to the Bahrain opener. “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.”

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Bottas started the season with a points finish in Bahrain but only scored on three more occasions

Bottas expanded on what’s to come from the Hinwil workforce and their reshuffled technical department over the coming weeks and months in preparation for the 2024 campaign.

“In this sport, with the margins we have, it’s everything,” he said, tackling what areas of performance the team need to focus on. “There’s nothing fundamental.

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“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.”

Asked what was missing from Alfa Romeo’s C43 package, Bottas added: “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.

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“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. In this sport, that’s not always enough.

“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.

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“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.”

Bottas, who wound up 15th in the drivers’ standings, and Zhou, who placed 18th, will continue as team mates for a third successive season in 2024, having joined forces for the start of F1’s latest ground effect era.

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