Alfa Romeo confirm ‘fuel system issue’ halted Bottas

Jamie Woodhouse
Valtteri Bottas, ahead of Alfa Romeo team-mate Zhou Guanyu. Hungary, July 2022.

Valtteri Bottas on-track ahead of his Alfa Romeo team-mate Zhou Guanyu. Hungary, July 2022.

Valtteri Bottas ground to a halt in Hungary, Alfa Romeo confirming that a “fuel system issue” was to blame.

On Lap 68 of 70 at the Hungarian Grand Prix, Bottas brought his Alfa Romeo C42 to a stop, triggering the Virtual Safety Car.

Heading over to the media pen after that disappointing conclusion to the race, Bottas cited a “technical issue” as the reason for his retirement, but Alfa Romeo team boss Frederic Vasseur would shed some extra light on what went wrong.

“A day that promised much at its beginning left us disappointed in the end,” said Vasseur in an Alfa Romeo statement.

“The start put us on the back foot, losing five places with both cars and setting up a tough afternoon to recover some points.

“Valtteri was able to break into the top ten and was there until the closing stages, but in the end a fuel system issue meant he had to retire with a couple of laps to go.”

Alfa Romeo had hoped to execute a one-stop strategy with Bottas, but as several other drivers found out, the hard tyre simply was not a good race tyre at the Hungaroring.

“We committed to one-stop with the medium and hard [tyre],” Bottas told reporters.

“And towards the end of the race I felt it didn’t work as planned, but we tried, and it was tricky to back out, but I think ultimately the hard tyre didn’t work quite as well as I thought it should.

“But, in the end we had a technical issue, had to stop the race.”

Bottas and Alfa Romeo have been no strangers to reliability troubles this year, Bottas admitting that it is something which will require “high focus” to fix.

“It’s not consistent enough and we need to keep working on that,” said Bottas, “because it would have been an even greater shame that if we were to score points again and we had the issues, so high focus on that.”

With Bottas failing to make the finish, Zhou Guanyu managed only P13 in the other Alfa Romeo, meaning the team depart Hungary empty-handed.

The result then was not a welcomed one for Vasseur, who plans to use the summer break to rebuild and ensure that Alfa Romeo return ready to fight for points in Spa.

“Zhou’s afternoon was also compromised at the start,” Vasseur stated, “he was able to recover to 13th in the end but, as a team, we hoped for a lot more.

“It is a shame after the good performance we delivered in qualifying yesterday, but we now have a summer break to understand what went wrong and come back into the points for the final three European races of the season at the end of summer.”