Finland’s Valtteri Bottas claimed that he and Lewis Hamilton were sometimes ignored by Mercedes when deciding how they wanted their cars to be set up, as the team’s computer simulations claimed there would be timing improvements based on the data they had.
Bottas added that it’s a different situation for him now at Alfa Romeo, having more of a say in how he sets up his car on a race weekend.
The current Alfa Romeo driver believes it was the right thing to have computers leading the way when setting up the cars on occasion at Mercedes, but not always for how he wanted to drive.
“This is how a top team works,” Bottas said, according to GPFans. “I think Lewis felt the same way too. He sometimes wanted to go in his direction, but the engineers would say, ‘No, the computer says that’. So sometimes it was a battle, but it’s good to discuss these things. They have pretty advanced technology and simulation tools that allow for that, and often the computer was right, but not 100% of the time,” he said.
Regarding his current environment, Bottas previously spoke of the need for Alfa Romeo to bring more members to the team, to catch up with other teams on the grid, and compete on equal terms.
The team’s Hinwil factory is not as big as the Brackley and Brixworth bases where Bottas worked at Mercedes, but he believes the tools at his current team are ‘getting there’, although he is happier to be able to have more say. about how you want your car to be set up, with Alfa Romeo behaving more like a ‘racing team’ compared to the ‘company’ feel at Mercedes.
“In Hinwil, the simulation tools are developing well, but for now, it seems like there is more of a human and pilot effect to things, which I personally like a lot.”
Bottas currently has 46 points in the drivers’ championship, remaining 10th in his first season with Alfa Romeo, which in turn is sixth in the constructors’ championship with 52 points at the moment.