The Finn, who moved to the Swiss-based outfit in 2022 following the end of his five-year relationship with Mercedes, helped the team finish sixth in the 2022 constructors’ championship fending off a challenge from Aston Martin.
“[I’m] looking forward to 2023″, Bottas said in an exclusive interview with Total Motorsport.com. “At the start, it’s always exciting, as any start of the season is with a new car. The goal has to be higher than sixth.
“Obviously, with more experience in this team, I truly believe we can step up from last year.
“We need to be better in every area. We need to be consistent throughout. I think already, with consistency, there’s a lot more to gain.”
Perfect start with a seamless shakedown
Before heading to Bahrain for 2023 F1 testing and the opening race of the season, Alfa Romeo underwent a filming day in Barcelona, with Bottas and Zhou Guanyu getting behind the wheel. The pair have been impressed with the C43.
“[We had] limited running, but it was positive,” Bottas continued. “What was important was that we didn’t have a single issue. Based on the initial run, I could already feel some improvements compared to last year’s car.
“We’ve been working hard since the very start of last year. So the team seems to be on an upward trajectory since last year.
“I see no reason why we shouldn’t be able to achieve better results than last year. So that means better than sixth in the constructors [championship], but I reckon the midfield will be super close.”
Team leadership and working with Seidl
Ever since moving to Alfa Romeo, Bottas has assumed the role of team leader, succeeding fellow Finn Kimi Raikkonen, and it’s a position which he relishes.
“Definitely, it’s a good feeling and comes naturally, with a bit of experience already,” explained Bottas.
“It’s way more than just driving the car. There’s quite a bit of involvement in long-term development. I really enjoy the responsibility.”
Over the winter, Alfa Romeo secured the services of Andreas Seidl from McLaren and although he won’t be in attendance for most of the races, the German has already been hard at work.
“It’s been great. Obviously, it’s taking him [Seidl] some time to figure out about the team personnel and how it was run in the past,” said Bottas.
“So he’s had a big learning curve in the last few weeks, and definitely, [I’ve] enjoyed getting to know him and understanding his way of working.
“He’s a really good guy for the team. Even though we had pretty rapid changes in the structure of the team. It feels very much like everything’s stable and in good control.”