Monday, June 24, 2024

Alfa Romeo ‘Maximised Everything we had’ during British Grand Prix – Valtteri Bottas

Valtteri Bottas believed he did as much as he could during the British Grand Prix on Sunday, with the Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake driver climbing from twentieth and last on the grid to finish twelfth.

The Finn was disqualified from Qualifying on Saturday afternoon after his car did not have enough fuel in its tank to provide a sample post-session, meaning he was forced to start at the back of the pack, but Bottas made good progress throughout the race.

Bottas knew he profited from the timing of the safety car, meaning he could make his mandatory pit stop without losing too much time, but making eight places from where he started was a good result.

“I think, taking into consideration where we were starting from, we maximised everything we had today,” said Bottas.  “The Virtual Safety Car and the Safety Car both came out in a favourable moment for us, allowing us to pit and save some time.

“Of course, it is never easy when starting P20, but we gave it all and got the best out of our package.”

Even though he missed out on a top ten finish, Bottas, ten times a Grand Prix winner within the FIA Formula 1 World Championship, felt the team had made progress with its C43-Ferrari with updates they had brought to Silverstone.

“The upgrades we brought here this weekend allowed us to make a slight step forward, but of course, there is still some work to do: other teams brought new parts as well, and their improvement has been evident,” he added.

“Over the few weeks before Budapest, all of our focus will go into unlocking their full potential, in order to come back in competitive form for the final two races before the summer break.”

“This weekend just hasn’t been our lucky one” – Zhou Guanyu

Team-mate Zhou Guanyu was also unable to score points at Silverstone, with the Chinese driver ending his day down in fifteenth.

Whereas the timing of the safety car benefitting Bottas, it did not benefit Zhou, who had made his pit stop just prior to it, meaning he lost more time than his team-mate in the pit lane.

Another pit stop to remove a tear-off from his brake duct ended his chances of a good result, but like his team-mate, he felt the upgraded C43 was a step forward but he knows there is still work to be done to move the team back into regular top ten contention.

“Overall, I think this weekend just hasn’t been our lucky one,” said Zhou.  “The Safety Car came out when I had already pitted, and that forced me to change again to avoid having to stay at the back on hard tyres.

“On top of that, unfortunately, I got a tear-off stuck in my brake duct, once again, and that pretty much compromised my race as we had to pass through the pits for the third time and get it removed.

“As per the upgrades we brought this weekend, I reckon there’s more work to be done: other teams brought important packages through, and that allowed them to make a good leap forward.

“I think the potential for us is there, but we definitely will need to work on the new aero package to properly obtain that extra performance we need to get back in the mix for points.”

Zhou Guanyu finished fifteenth at Silverstone – Credit: Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake