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Bottas praises Seidl for working to change any ‘old school mindset’ within Kick Sauber team

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Valtteri Bottas believes the atmosphere within the Kick Sauber camp has changed for the better in recent times, describing team spirit as “the highest I have seen so far” under Andreas Seidl’s leadership.

After several seasons linked with the Alfa Romeo car brand, the Switzerland-based team head into 2024 under their all-new identity, underlined by a striking green-and-black livery that adorns the overhauled C44 package.

TEAM PREVIEW: An all-new car and a new name – but will Kick Sauber’s changes spark a fruitful new era?

It comes ahead of the second campaign in charge for Seidl, who made the move from McLaren in late-2022, with the experienced CEO attempting to strengthen the operation ahead of Audi’s arrival for the next set of power unit regulations in two years’ time.

Asked to compare the Kick Sauber set-up with his previous teams, Mercedes and Williams, and whether they are far off having what they need to deliver a competitive car, Bottas said: “I think we have to target for that. We didn’t meet the targets that we set for last season but now we have to get there.

BAHRAIN, BAHRAIN - FEBRUARY 22: Valtteri Bottas of Finland driving the (77) Kick Sauber C44 Ferrari

Bottas sampled the vibrant green-and-black C44 during testing in Bahrain last week

“We need to be starting the season strong but then maintaining good progress, which I believe is possible with the additional members we have in the team, including the big talent we have already in the team. With this new, fresh identity and ideas, I feel like there’s no limit.”

Bottas, who joined the squad in 2022, then namechecked Seidl as one of the leaders making a difference behind the scenes, while also being enthused by the likes of the respected James Key recently arriving as Technical Director.

TECH ANALYSIS: How Kick Sauber’s C44 moves closer than ever towards a Red Bull design philosophy

“I see good motivation all around,” he continued. “There’s been fresh ideas, lots of new stuff happening. There’s a lot of motivation and the spirit is good; I would say the spirit of the team and kind of the commitment for this year is, I would say, the highest I have seen so far.

“I think also the leadership of Andreas, he’s been really good at dealing with people and trying to change some of the almost, let’s say, old school mindset in the team and making sure that we don’t accept a bad result, we need to do better.”

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Valtteri Bottas praises the potential of the C44

Bottas also set out what would represent a strong season for Kick Sauber in 2024, with the outfit looking to improve on the P9 finish they recorded in last year’s constructors’ standings.

“I would say if we hit the targets we set for last year which was much better positions in the championship, consistently in the points for the whole season and sometimes hopefully competing for podiums, that would be my ideal target,” the Finn commented.

READ MORE: Sauber announce new F1 reserve driver ahead of 2024 season

“I think we need to target high, there’s no reason to go into a new season aiming to be like one place better, that shouldn’t be the case, we need to be far better than that.”

As per the rest of the F1 grid, Kick Sauber will field an unchanged driver line-up this year, with Bottas to be partnered by Chinese racer Zhou Guanyu for a third successive season.

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