Monday, June 24, 2024

Valtteri Bottas: Upgrade for Silverstone “should help us regain the form we had shown last month”

Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake’s Valtteri Bottas said that the team was disappointed with the outcome of the Austrian Grand Prix overall, claiming zero points at the sprint weekend after finding solid results at previous rounds. The Finnish driver finished the sprint in last place, and crossed the line in sixteenth on race day. 

Starting from fourteenth place on Sunday, he took on the alternative tyre strategy by starting on hards. His race had a tumultuous start, however, with a first lap tangle that lost him crucial positions. 

The Virtual Safety Car played well to the advantage of the medium-runners as well, only adding to the misfortune of Bottas’ campaign at the Red Bull Ring. Bottas felt that these factors hindered him from making a recovery and “compromised” his race overall. 

“Undoubtedly, we expected more from Austria, as we were coming from a couple of decent results in a row. It was a tough one for the team, as we struggled throughout the whole weekend – and on top of that, also saw the Sunday race being compromised and thus our chances to recover through the field.”

Now turning his attention to the British Grand Prix, Bottas hopes that the new developments being introduced for their C43 can help the team rebuild some of the momentum they had prior to Austria. 

“I am looking forward to racing in Silverstone this weekend, another timeless classic on the calendar. We are bringing a new package there, which should help us regain the form we had shown last month.”

He added that the team understands where improvements are needed, and that it will be majorly important to get a hold on the new upgrade as quickly as possible in practice at Silverstone Circuit

“We know on which areas we need to work on to improve our performance, and everyone in the team, both trackside and back home in Hinwil, has been putting all their efforts on it. It will be crucial to get these upgrades right from the first practice sessions, to put ourselves back in the fight.”

“Hopefully, we’ll be able to find more pace, which we lacked in Austria” – Zhou Guanyu

Team-mate Zhou Guanyu is likewise looking to put the tough result at Austria “behind” them, which saw the Chinese driver finish in nineteenth at the Saturday sprint and twelfth after the chaotic Sunday race.

Zhou is motivated to hit the ground running in Silverstone and put the new update to the test, and will be looking to get the most out of it from the weekend’s first sessions forward. 

“As we head to Silverstone for the second part of the double header, we are motivated to put the tough weekend in Spielberg behind us. 

“We will have some new parts on the car for this race, which should allow us to make a further step forward: I am keen to get back on track and extracting their full potential. Hopefully, we’ll be able to find more pace, which we lacked in Austria.”

Zhou said that the goal remains the same, regardless of the previous weekend’s outcome: to keep fighting for key points. 

“Difficult races can happen; what is important, now, is that we maintain our focus and keep working towards getting back into the top ten right away.”

Last year’s British Grand Prix saw Zhou suffer a shocking crash during the first lap, but he maintains that the incident is well out of mind as he goes into this year’s race, which is particularly “important” to him due to his tie to the United Kingdom. 

“Of course, I remember the crash I was involved in last year; that, however, is a closed chapter, and has been ever since I returned home on that same day. This race is important to me, as I have spent so much time in the UK: all my motivation this weekend will go into doing well in a place I know very well.”

Credit: Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake