Failing to score a point in Australia despite only 12 cars reaching the chequered flag, Finnish pundits say Valtteri Bottas’ pace around the Albert Park circuit was “not acceptable”.
Bottas had a weekend to forget in Melbourne, at least when it came to the on-track action.
The Alfa Romeo driver was off the pace in Saturday’s qualifying where he finished slowest of all, prompting the team to change his set-up overnight and meant a pit lane start.
He never showed signs of recovering, the Finn crossing the line 12th and last, admitting that had him feeling a bit concerned.
“It was difficult to understand the overall picture of where we are going,” Bottas lamented. “It felt a little better, but hardly all the problems have been solved.
“I’m a little worried. Not where it should be. The mood is completely different than it was in Bahrain.”
Finnish pundits declare: That’s not acceptable
Sunday’s result meant he hadn’t scored a point since his P8 at the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix.
Finnish pundits Toni Vilander and Ossi Oikarinen agree with the driver that there is cause for concern after his lacklustre weekend in Melbourne.
“That’s not acceptable,” Oikarinen told Viaplay. “As Valtteri himself said, at this point you have to be worried.
“If you change the settings of the car well before the race and test the new one, and it still doesn’t work, then there is a fundamental fault somewhere.
“It is necessary to sit down with the team and think about what to do. Such a race is not acceptable for Valtteri or the team. You have to press the reset button.”
His fellow pundit Vilander admits he is “really worried” especially as Bottas wasn’t able to make progress on the Sunday.
“I don’t want to profile myself in such a way that I only look at Valtteri negatively, but Valtteri drove in last place for a long time,” Vilander said.
“There was no momentum, that is the most worrying thing of all. I’m really worried.”
Alunni Bravi admits team needs to ‘recapture’ Bahrain pace
With neither Bottas nor his team-mate Zhou Guanyu making it out of Q1 at the Albert Park circuit, team representative Alessandro Alunni Bravi admits the C43 is lacking in pace compared to where it was at race one.
The team upgraded the car for the Melbourne race, introducing a new nose and front wing with the latter designed to give the car better balance, while new mirror stays were brought to give better control of the airflow surrounding the cockpit.
Zhou was able to score points, P9 of the 12 runners who finished, but Bottas was 11th.
“We need to make the most of this little break before Baku to understand how to recapture the pace we had in Bahrain, analyse the data from the car, especially with the new upgrades our team at home was able to produce for this race, and get back stronger for the next rounds,” Alunni Bravi said.