The Hinwil outfit currently lies eighth in the constructors’ championship, with Bottas only logging points when he finished eighth in the opening race in Bahrain.

Bottas admits he has re-evaluated his goals for this season, and switched his focus from achieving specific results to helping the team make progress in what he says is a “challenging” year.

“[We're] definitely we're not where we want to be,” said Bottas on the eve of the Spanish Grand Prix.

“And I'm not having the results that I want to be getting. Because of course the goal for us this year was to make a step up. And that's not been the case.

“This is the situation now, and we're obviously trying to work away from this situation and be better, but that will take a bit of time. So no doubt it's going to be challenging season.

“But the good thing is that we already have things in the pipeline. We know that there's stuff coming that can help us. It is close. That's a good thing, because with two-tenths of a gain per lap you can actually make quite a big difference.

“Now the target and the motivation is progress, and seeing improvements, feeling improvements. I'm still in this for the long term. So there's no reason to panic.”

Although it might not be reflected in the results, Bottas insists that the team is making progress as it builds towards its transition to Audi works status in 2026.

Valtteri Bottas, Alfa Romeo F1 Team

Photo by: Erik Junius

“Definitely I’ve seen a bit of evolution,” he said. “I think just attention to smaller details has improved a lot, like even when I look at the car, everything is just better finished and more detailed. And the same operationally in the team, I think we are making steps forward.

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“But with performance, the steps we made over the winter, it was not enough. So that's what we obviously are focussed on now. But I'm seeing progress in the team. And also like I think everyone in the team also senses the excitement of the future line-up of the team.

“So yeah, I think things are going in the right direction, maybe not quite as fast as we were hoping for in the last year or so. But it's going in the right direction."

As Sauber moves towards its switch to Audi in 2026, Bottas has highlighted how Aston Martin vaulting to the front of the field in 2023 serves as inspiration for a squad like his in its own quest for results.

"There's still a lot of work to do, no doubt,” he said. “And everyone knows in the team, and also Andreas [Seidl] and Alessandro [Alunni Bravi], they know it. We accept it.

“But I think one example team in this paddock it's actually quite motivating to see what Aston was able to do over the winter.

"It shows that you can make you know decent jumps if you get things right, so I think we need to look at teams like Aston or Red Bull and what they've done, and seeing that as motivation that it is possible."

2023-06-01T14:57:21Z dg43tfdfdgfd