Jenson Button sees Valtteri Bottas moving to Alfa Romeo as ‘a weird one’
Jenson Button has said moving down the grid to drive less competitive machinery at Alfa Romeo will be a “tough pill to swallow” for Valtteri Bottas.
Given that Bottas has won nine races and racked up more than 50 podium finishes as a Mercedes driver, he will have to adjust his priorities while driving for Alfa, but the Finn hopes to build a project there – having signed on a multi-year deal from 2022.
Bottas admitted that he hopes the team, who have scored just seven points all season, will be able to take advantage of the new regulations to propel them further up the field in having a “completely different” car.
Even though he will arrive at Alfa as the team leader, 2009 World Champion Button hopes Bottas can use this opportunity to drive the team forward.
“Yeah, it’s always a weird one, when you go from a top team to a not-so-top team,” Button said in an interview with Luxury London. “It is a long-term contract for him, so it’s the first time he’s ever had that in F1.
“But still, it’s a tough pill to swallow. Now he’s got to get his head down and develop that team around him and hope they have the funding to move forward.”
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Button, who is currently a senior advisor at Williams, has been working with Bottas’ successor at Mercedes in George Russell, and Button feels that he’s ready to make the step up to partnering Lewis Hamilton, given his talent and mental strength.
“I don’t think he needs any advice, really,” said Button. “I think the main thing is just to be himself – he’s got his head screwed on and he is a good person.
“He has the raw talent, he works hard. So yeah, I think going in there not trying to be something he isn’t – just be himself.”
Regarding the change in regulations as a whole, which have been designed with the specific intention of improving the racing in Formula 1, Button hopes to see more teams being able to battle for victories on a regular basis.
He said: “Hopefully [F1 will change] for the better. The racing will be better, they’ll be closer because of the way the aerodynamics works,” he said. “It’s more ground effects, which shouldn’t affect the following car with dirty air as much.
“I still think you’re going to have the top teams fighting at the front, but maybe you will have Ferrari and McLaren a little bit closer. That’s what we’re hoping for anyway. So we’ll have four teams fighting for the championship.”
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