Bottas expects boost in Baku as Alfa saves upgrades for Saturday

ByDavid M. Conte

Jun 10, 2022

The Hinwil-based team have a limited stock of the latest upgrades and opted not to put them on Bottas and Zhou Guanyu’s cars on Friday so as not to risk sustaining damage.

Bottas expects the upgraded spec car to be quicker on Saturday and added that his fastest lap in FP2 was spoiled by a lockout, which cost him time that would have put him on the verge of a top 10 finish.

“I don’t think that’s the true picture of where we are,” he told Autosport. “The fact is that we don’t necessarily have all the best elements on the car yet. And also on my last lap I was four tenths ahead, but then I had a lock-up, and I lost all the time.

“So even with that I would have been a bit closer. Plus any improvements we can make for tomorrow. So it’s going to be extremely close. We made a lot of configuration changes today, and towards the end , it was much better.”

Regarding the new parts, he said: “I understand they are here, but we don’t have too many. So there is always a risk in these street circuits. I think it will give us, hopefully a little head start But we also need to find more than that.

“I’m sure we can do it, and I know we can still improve the settings and everything. It’s quite a sensitive track, but once you have the right settings you can find a lot of lap times. “

Valtteri Bottas, Alfa Romeo C42

Photo by: Glenn Dunbar / Motorsport Images

The team underperformed in the last race in Monaco after arriving with high expectations, and Bottas says lessons have been learned.

“Monaco as a street circuit has certainly not been easy for our car,” he admitted. “But I think we learned a lot with the setup. So if we can do everything for tomorrow, I’m still optimistic we should be able to fight for a place in Q3.

“And I think the race pace, as always, should be okay. So I’m still optimistic for the weekend.”

Read also :

Zhou, who was just 0.149 seconds behind Bottas in 16th in FP2, agreed the new parts will make the difference.

“Obviously the result was not visible in the last races,” he said.

“But in terms of pace, we definitely caught up a lot to my team-mate, we closed the gap. So it’s good today to see that the two sessions were very close to each other.

“And I think today the main focus is that as a team we just have to find more speed. I’m quite comfortable that we have a few things that we’re going to put on the car. tomorrow, which should be a good choice.” improvement.”

Like Bottas, Zhou also acknowledged that the team had learned from his Monegasque frustrations.

“It was a struggle, but we kind of understood what happened after the weekend. Obviously, it’s too late. But nevertheless, this weekend, it’s still kind of a turn. slow speed. Obviously a different track, different surface, but I was quite comfortable in the car today.

“There is a clear picture of what we need to improve and it will gain a lot more momentum. So if it is suitable for tomorrow we will fight again with everyone else for this midfield group.”