Valtteri Bottas has denied that there is anything personal about his on-track battles with George Russell, the man who replaced him at Mercedes for 2022.
The Finn – who made the switch to Alfa Romeo this season following five years racing for the Silver Arrows – has enjoyed a strong start to the campaign, and on more than one occasion has found himself battling with his former team on race days.
As well as running close to Russell and Lewis Hamilton in Miami, Bottas also chased down Russell in the latter stages of the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, though narrowly missed out on snatching P4 away from him.
Bottas: The target is points, not a person
Bottas has previously suggested that he used Russell and Mercedes as “motivation” to keep on pushing forwards in Imola.
However, the 32-year-old says that the focus is always on scoring points, rather than it being related to any individual.
When asked if the battle with Russell was “personal”, Bottas told media, including RacingNews365.com: “No, it’s points.
“We’re chasing points and always just really trying to maximise every opportunity, every position you can make.
“Obviously, it was a nice target for me in that race [at Imola], because, from [the middle] to the end of the race, there wasn’t really much action around me so I was catching him a few tenths a lap, and that just kept me pushing.
“The target was more points, rather than a person.”
Alfa Romeo “making progress”, says Bottas
After his move away from Mercedes, Bottas is relishing the new chapter of his career at Alfa Romeo.
“I’m enjoying it a lot,” he explained.
“We started the season with the first race with [scoring] points, and what I’ve been really enjoying is the progress we’ve been able to make together as a team.
“We’re definitely not falling back, and that is the motivation for us to go ahead, rather than backwards. I’m really, really enjoying the ride.”