Bottas thought ‘it could be our day’, but his ‘tyres died’

Henry Valantine
Valtteri Bottas stands on the grid. Barcelona May 2022.

Valtteri Bottas had thought he could have capitalised on the issues of others in Spain, but his ambitious strategy did not work out in the end.

The Alfa Romeo driver had been comfortably running in the top five throughout the Spanish Grand Prix on Sunday, placing himself as ‘best of the rest’ behind the two Red Bulls, George Russell and Carlos Sainz.

But with Sainz having fallen back at the start and spun into the gravel and Max Verstappen having done the same, this peaked his interest and he thought he could have been in a position to pounce on their misfortune.

It wasn’t to be in the end however, with former team-mate Lewis Hamilton eventually fighting past Bottas and, while he took a solid P6 finish in Barcelona, he wondered what might have been after trying to risk an alternative strategy by only taking two pit stops, instead of the three used by the majority of the field.

“When you are in those positions and things are going smoothly and you see things are going smoothly and you see things happening to other cars you are thinking ‘it could be our day’,” Bottas told reporters after the race, per GPFans.

“But strategy-wise we took a risk. We left the last stint to be very long, but in the end, it was too long. The tyres died towards the end.

“We tried. We had the chance to choose – ‘Are we going to be best of the rest or are we going to try something more?’

“So we tried something different. It didn’t work out, but the risk was pretty minimal. There was not that much threat from behind.”

Because of that lack of challenge from the rest of the field, there would have been scope for Bottas to try a further stop to try and ensure a top-five place, but he was quick to bat away those suggestions – believing his Alfa Romeo wasn’t quick enough to pull it off.

But despite that, he was pleased with the team’s outcome.

 

“There was not quite enough pace,” he said.

“But maybe with the issues Lewis had towards the end we would have been a bit shorter on the last stint.

“Maybe it could have been possible but anyway, it is still good points.”

Bottas has now moved on to 38 points after six races, while team-mate Zhou Guanyu had to retire on Sunday and still remains on a solitary point so far in his debut season.