Bottas fears his ‘tricky Fridays’ are becoming ‘a trend’

Sam Cooper
Valtteri Bottas removing his helmet. Barcelona, May 2022.

Alfa Romeo's Valtteri Bottas removes his helmet after being forced to retire during FP2. Barcelona, May 2022.

Valtteri Bottas is concerned his “tricky Fridays” are becoming a trend after more reliability woes during FP2 at the Spanish Grand Prix.

After completing just 13 laps during the entirety of Friday’s practice in Miami, Bottas was once again stranded on the sidelines when an engine problem forced him to retire in FP2.

It was a difficult day throughout with the Finn setting the fourth-slowest lap in FP1 before being limited to just three laps in the afternoon’s session.

Speaking after the race, the Alfa Romeo driver said he had noticed that his “tricky Fridays” are now becoming an unwelcome common occurrence.

“I smelt and saw the smoke and before that I heard a noise which didn’t sound good,” he replied when asked what went wrong with his car. “We still haven’t got the car back so we don’t know exactly but I’d expect something with the engine.

“It seems a bit of a trend that we have tricky Fridays and we don’t get much running which is unfortunate but I’m sure we can bounce back. The positive thing is that one lap that I had on the mediums the car felt pretty good. We can work on that.”

Luckily for Bottas, the Barcelona track is the most well known for every driver on the grid, so he will not feel too unprepared despite the limited running.

It was also a weekend that saw many upgrades brought to this year’s grid and the issue of porpoising seems to have finally been resolved.

Bottas confirmed that was the case for Alfa Romeo and said the team were moving closer to the “optimal.”

“At least for us yes,” he replied when asked if porpoising issues had been ironed out. “It didn’t seem like an issue. We definitely started quite cautiously in practice one with the upgrades and we’re getting more and more towards the optimal.”


It was a tricky day throughout for Alfa Romeo with Bottas’ team-mate Zhou Guanyu failing to record a faster time in FP2 despite completing 27 more laps. In the morning session, Robert Kubica filled in for Zhou and did manage to go 13th fastest.

Despite his difficulties on Friday, Bottas can take solace in his qualifying performances this season having qualified no lower than P12 during the opening five races. Of those five races, on four occasions he has made it to Q3 and in the last race in Miami he started sixth on the grid.


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