Mika Häkkinen thinks the switch from Mercedes to Alfa Romeo is good for Valtteri Bottas. Bottas is taking a step back in terms of the quality of his team, but it does win for sure. That is exactly what the experienced F1 driver needs, says his compatriot. In the long run, we will see Bottas perform better when he is comfortable in his own skin.
“Bottas is a great team player and driver. He is now going to ride for a nice racing stable. However, he will not enjoy as much financial support as he does with Mercedes. The resources of those two teams (Mercedes and Alfa Romeo, ed.) are not comparable,” said the Finn, who tells his story at SuomiF1. Until last year, Mercedes was at about three times the expenditure of the current budget ceiling, Alfa Romeo was on it in recent years.
Bottas’ advantage at Alfa Romeo
That means Bottas will probably not be at the front of the grid in 2022. However, Häkkinen points to one very big advantage that the switch to the Swiss racing stable entails. “He can set himself up for a long term with the team. At Mercedes, where he was awarded a new one-year contract every year, he was safe, but the end was always in sight.”
‘That uncertainty affects your self-confidence. He didn’t get the appreciation from Mercedes he was looking for. If someone can pull the rug from under you at any moment, you feel it in your confidence,” concludes the two-time world champion. We will certainly see that reflected in his performance in 2022. According to Häkkinen, that safety is what Bottas needs to get the most out of himself.