Bottas happier after ‘many issues’ in Barcelona

Jon Wilde
Valtteri Bottas talks to Fred Vasseur. Bahrain March 2022.

Valtteri Bottas talks to Fred Vasseur on the opening day of official pre-season testing. Bahrain March 2022.

Valtteri Bottas was much more encouraged by Alfa Romeo’s first day of official testing compared to what had unfolded in Barcelona two weeks ago.

Alfa Romeo were not among the teams that impressed at the Circuit de Catalunya in the initial pre-season running, when they rolled out a C42 car with a camouflage livery. The familiar red and white design was only revealed two days later.

Teething troubles had been encountered in Spain for the all-new driver line-up of Bottas and rookie Guanyu Zhou, but day one of the Bahrain test went much better.

Bottas was the first of the duo out, completing 66 laps in the morning, while Zhou got in 54 after lunch. Of the 15 drivers in action throughout the day, Bottas ended up seventh on the timesheet and Zhou was 14th.

The Finn, who has joined Alfa Romeo on a multi-year contract this season following five campaigns with Mercedes, extracted plenty of positives.

“Much happier, it was actually a good day. I’m proud of the guys,” said Bottas during an interview with Formula 1.

“We did a good recovery because Barcelona was far from ideal – we had many issues.

“Today, the afternoon session was pretty seamless. We got through our run plan except for the red flag at the end, [which] just dropped one quick run. But we managed to initially get a feel and then focus on some set-up work.

“Many other teams got a lot done in Barcelona and that was not the case for us, so yes we are catching up. But today was a good day and there’s a long season ahead.”

There appeared to be a problem at one stage for Zhou but it turned out to be only a minor glitch that did not hinder the Chinese driver too significantly.

“We initially thought it was a bigger issue with hydraulics, but then it turned out it wasn’t actually too big so luckily he could continue running,” explained Bottas.

“I think he missed one or two runs, but nothing major today and I hope the next two days will continue like today did.”


Asked how he is finding his role as lead driver at Alfa Romeo, Bottas added: “So far it’s interesting and it’s nice to see good progress from the first test.

“I think we are heading in the right direction with some interesting set-up work today, and this was the first proper day we started to learn about the balance tools and the behaviour of the car and it was getting in the right direction.”


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