Friday, July 19, 2024

Bottas Hopeful for Imola Improvements: “The team has been flat out working on the car”

Valtteri Bottas is hopeful Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake can turn around their fortunes this weekend at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix as he bids to score his first points since the opening weekend of the 2023 FIA Formula 1 World Championship season in Bahrain.

Bottas has belief in his team that they can turn around their season and return to the battle for the top ten, and he has seen for himself the work the engineers and mechanics have been doing behind the scenes to improve the performance of the C43-Ferrari.

The Finn enjoyed his best weekend of the 2022 season at the Autodromo Internazionale Enzo e Dino Ferrari, a result that proved pivotal as they battled for sixth place in the Constructors’ Championship, and he hopes for an improved performance this weekend.

“I am really looking forward to getting back on track in Imola: the team has been flat out working on the car and we are bringing new parts for our car here – hopefully they’ll help us to make an improvement and get back in the fight for points,” said Bottas.

“It is also one of our two home races of the season, and to do well for ourselves and Alfa Romeo in front of our home crowd would be great. I have good memories from last year in Imola: it was our best result of 2022 and one that proved to be very important by the end of the season.

“It’s always great to race here, on an old-school track with so much history. We already showed some progress in Miami, where our single-lap pace was definitely better than in previous races, but there is still work to do.

“We must keep pushing forward, aiming to continue improving in both qualifying and the race.”

“I am very keen to be back on track and see what we can achieve” – Zhou Guanyu

Team-mate Zhou Guanyu is in agreement with Bottas, with the Chinese driver feeling the team definitely need to improve the car if they are to be genuine top ten contenders this season.

Zhou has only scored one top ten finish so far in 2023 with a ninth-place result in Australia, and he has also praised the team for their efforts in working on upgrades to the C43 in a bid to end their slide down the order so far this season.

“It was good to see the team showing some progress in Miami, even though there are still some improvements we need to make,” said Zhou.  “The team back at base in Hinwil has been working nonstop on the upgrades for our C43: it’s been a big effort from everyone involved and I am very keen to be back on track and see what we can achieve.

“It is always an honour to be racing in such an historic venue as Imola, supported by the passion of the fans on the grandstands. It’s also a home race for our team, which makes it even more special.

“It will be a tough challenge, as it always is, but we are confident and motivated to make a positive change and get back in the mix to battle for points on Sunday.”

Zhou Guanyu is also hoping for improved performance from Alfa Romeo at Imola – Credit: Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake