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Valtteri Bottas, the Mercedes Formula 1 driver who is moving to Alfa Romeo next season, would -parently not mind having IndyCar racing driver Colton Herta as a teammate, if the rumor is true.
And that rumor, if you haven’t heard it by now, is that Michael Andretti, the former F1 and IndyCar driver and current IndyCar team owner, wants to buy the Sauber Alfa Romeo team and install Herta as a driver.
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“I think it would be a great thing for the sport,” Bottas told Autoweek. He believes Herta has what it takes: “If you have the talent that he showed in IndyCar, I think he can do it.”
What about the unfamiliarity with the tracks and an F1 car? “The technology in simulators helps with learning today,” especially the routes. “It would be possible, of course.” Also, the fact that cars will change quite a bit over the next year will give the sport parity and put every team on the same pitch.
With F1’s growing popularity in the US over the past five years, Bottas says, having an American driver would be huge, in part because of the three seasons of Drive to Survive that premiered in 2019. He was recently on vacation in Colorado, “and thanks to the series, so many people came up to me who were fans of Formula One”. “It’s popular all over the world, but I really feel it was a very good thing for the US market.”
Bottas is also at the top at the Miami Grand Prix, which will debut next spring. “I’ve been to Miami several times and it’s a very nice place,” he says, “a great place for a Grand Prix.” Bottas also believes the US could support a third race, and he admits that Las Vegas is at the forefront of the rumor mill. “Vegas would be great,” he says. But he also said that there are many attractive long-distance courses in the USA. His favorite? “I’ve never ridden it before, but I’ve always loved Laguna Seca.”
He’s also a fan of the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas, home of the US Grand Prix on Sunday. Bottas, whose victory in Turkey makes him the youngest winner, likes COTA’s “fast flowing nature. It’s high on my list. It suits my driving style very well. The track layout is really nice – it’s phenomenally good for overtaking. “
Bottas led the opening training on Friday in COTA, but will take a starting place penalty of five places at the Grand Prix on Sunday. Mercedes has chosen to equip its W12 with a sixth engine of the season, its third break in the last four grands prix. Mercedes has reliability concerns that it still concerns. The Mercedes customer teams Aston Martin and Williams also receive fines this weekend.
With six more races on the calendar after COTA, he is most looking forward to Mexico City, which will take place 5-7. November is planned. The track is “wonderful”, but it’s the atmosphere and the “passionate fans” that really add to the personality of the event.
The 32-year-old Finn achieved 65 podium places out of 172 races. Turkey is his only win of the season, but consistent placings – which are often hampered by more than his bad luck – and a good year for team-mate Lewis Hamilton have Mercedes at the top of the constructors’ championship. Turkey showed what he can do when everything clicks – he won on a very difficult track by over 14 seconds, set the fastest l – of the event and scored valuable points that gave him a solid third place in the drivers’ standings behind Max Verst -pen and Hamilton.
Moving to the Ferrari-powered Alfa team next season will be challenging, but he’s ready for it. “The move is a great opportunity – we are a long way to the World Cup, but nothing is impossible.”
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