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Bottas makes stark 'starting from zero' claim for new-look F1 team

Bottas makes stark 'starting from zero' claim for new-look F1 team

F1 News

Bottas makes stark 'starting from zero' claim for new-look F1 team

Bottas makes stark 'starting from zero' claim for new-look F1 team

Valtteri Bottas has revealed his relief and excitement over the entire grid 'starting from zero' ahead of 2024.

The veteran driver and his team-mate Zhou Guanyu ended the season outside of the points in Abu Dhabi, with Bottas coming home 19th and Zhou 17th.

The result meant the team finished ninth in the constructors' championship in what was Alfa Romeo’s final campaign as the title sponsor of the Sauber team, following a six-year partnership.

Speaking after the Abu Dhabi finale, Bottas reflected on a difficult season that he is glad to see the back of.

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Alfa Romeo finished ninth in the constructors' championship in 2023
The Alfa Romeo drivers could only score 16 points across the season
The team is set to be rebranded to Audi in 2026

A miserable year

"The pace was not great today, I think that was the biggest issue of the race," he said.

"We also tried two different strategies between the cars. I went for the one-stop hoping it would work for us but it just didn't, the tyres just wouldn't last and the pace was just way off the window.

"Unfortunately, it's slightly the story of the year – ultimately the biggest issue has been the raw pace. On the other hand, I'm glad it's over now and next year everyone starts from zero again."

The Swiss team have undergone a recent reshuffle, which includes the arrival of James Key as technical director following his departure from McLaren and Bottas hopes that this will trigger a change of fortune for next season.

"It's been many changes in the team lately and I think positive changes," he said. "Also the concept of next year's car looks interesting, so in that sense I do have hopes. Now we need to work hard for that and try again."

The 2023 season saw the team finish in the top ten only on seven occasions, scoring 16 points – Bottas netting ten and Zhou racking up six – putting them just four points ahead of last-place Haas in the final standings.

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