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Bottas hailed for perfect job after emerging from Hamilton shadow

Bottas hailed for perfect job after emerging from Hamilton shadow

F1 News

Bottas hailed for perfect job after emerging from Hamilton shadow

Bottas hailed for perfect job after emerging from Hamilton shadow

Alfa Romeo team principal Fred Vasseur has hailed "the perfect job" achieved so far by Valtteri Bottas following the Finn's emergence from the shadow of Lewis Hamilton this F1 season.

Bottas spent five years as Hamilton's team-mate at Mercedes, and for the majority of the time failed to scale the heights achieved by the seven-time F1 champion.

Although Bottas scored 10 race wins, 57 other podiums and 20 pole positions during his time with the team, he rarely challenged Hamilton for the title and occasionally had to serve as 'wingman' to aid the Briton's own championship quest.

Over the winter, Bottas joined Alfa Romeo and has discovered a new lease of life as team leader, mentoring Chinese rookie Zhou Guanyu.

Vasseur feels Bottas' contribution so far cannot be understated, with the 32-year-old scoring 30 points, more on his own than over the past two seasons combined for the entire team.

"The input of the driver is not only with the car," said Vasseur. "For sure, in the car, if you have a look, for me, he has done the perfect job from the start of the season.

"We had an issue at the start at the first race [in Bahrain] but that was because we had a huge lack of mileage over the winter but he has done a fantastic job in the car.

"But his value for the team is much more outside of the car. In the briefings, at the factory, he is always thinking about the team and not about himself, trying to get the best from the 500 people there.

"He spends two hours more doing a factory tour because he spends five minutes with each department. This is the non-visible part of the job and for me, it is bigger."

Bottas the motivational speaker

Vasseur feels Bottas has also been able to rally the team around him, both at the track and on his visits to the factory in Hinwil.

"We have far fewer staff than other teams, probably 250 less than Renault or Williams, for example," added Vasseur.

"So we need to get the best from everybody and on this, again, he is doing a fantastic job because he is convinced he needs to be part of the motivation. Each time he is with us, he goes on stage, speaking to everybody.

"It is very difficult to put value or lap time on this but in the end, it is crucial because we have to be more reactive, more efficient than the others because we are smaller and this is an added value."

Asked as to whether he was surprised by what Bottas had achieved so far, both in and out of the car, Vasseur replied: "I am not surprised. We have had a personal relationship for 15 years.

"I don't want to make any comparison with Mercedes because they are [eight-time] constructors' champions in a row, but he was always in the shadow of Lewis.

"I was convinced he would be a different guy as a leader, and I think he is looking in this direction."

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