Bottas admits Alfa Romeo need to ‘take a step forward’

Michelle Foster
Valtteri Bottas standing in the Alfa Romeo garage looking serious in testing. Barcelona February 2022

Valtteri Bottas standing in the Alfa Romeo garage looking serious in testing. Barcelona February 2022

Valtteri Bottas is convinced Alfa Romeo are heading in the right direction despite the Finn managing just 10 laps on day three of testing.

Hitting the track on Wednesday morning at the Circuit de Catalunya for the opening pre-season outing, Alfa Romeo’s pre-season preparations were on the back foot almost from the get-go.

Test driver Robert Kubica did just nine laps on the opening morning, the team hit by several niggles, which continued through into the afternoon with Bottas putting in 23 laps.

He added a further 21 on day two and 10 on day three, although it must be noted that his rookie team-mate Guanyu Zhou had a better time of it, covering 71 and 42 laps respectively.

As such while it is looking a bit bleak, at least from Bottas’ side as like his rivals the Finn needs as much track time as possible in the all-new cars, he is adamant it is not as bad as it may appear.

He even went as far as to say Friday was a “positive day” with “quite a bit of running” at least from the team as a whole.

He added that there were “some good indications until nearly the end of the session”.

The rear of Valtteri Bottas' Alfa Romeo C42 in its camouflage livery. Spain, February 2022.

“I was able to run with the C3 compound, but unfortunately a spin and a small hydraulic leak meant I couldn’t try the C4 tyres,” he added.

“It’s only testing and we can’t really compare what we are doing against the other teams, but the feeling is that we are going in the right direction.

“The most important thing is to work together as a team to make sure we take a step forward ahead of testing in Bahrain.”

Zhou was 13th fastest with Bottas down in P16.

But before Alfa Romeo can focus on pace, the team needs to resolve their reliability issues.

According to The Race’s Gary Anderson, Alfa Romeo are having a lot of problems with porpoising, the car moving up and down on the straights.

The former Formula 1 designer and technical director gave his assessment, saying when the team did eventually get into some running it “became clear the problem was serious and modifications had to be made to the floor – costing lap time, but allowing it to get running and work on reliability.

 

“On track, the car lacks grip. It is decently balanced but appears to slide more than most even at a lower speed.”

 

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