Bottas owns up to 'costly mistake' in FP1 in Miami


Alfa's Valtteri Bottas says he only has himself to blame for the "costly mistake" in FP1 that ruled him out of the second practice session in Miami.

Bottas had put just 13 laps on the board in first practice when he was caught out by the track's tricky and long Turn 7 and hit the outside wall.

Unfortunately, the damage sustained to the Alfa Romeo C42's rear end, including to an engine element, was too great for the Swiss outfit's crews to repair in time for FP2.

"A really costly mistake from my side – it’s annoying," said Bottas at the end of Friday.

"But the damage was unfortunate, in that with the rear impact, it damaged the exhaust and also the turbo of the engine, so that’s why it was impossible to get everything ready for FP2. So, unlucky.

"It means we need to really maximise the last hour of practice tomorrow.

"Thankfully, the team has made good progress with Zhou and it seems the set-up direction we have taken, with the changes the team made on his car for FP2, is the right one."

Bottas' teammate, who clocked in P8 at the end of FP2, did indeed showcase Alfa's potential around Miami's International Autodrome.

"I learned how to drift in P1 because it was really slippery out there!" joked the Chinese driver. "It was very tough for all the guys around.

"P2 was a big improvement, and also for us as a team, we found the right way and the solution for the set-up, so we seem to be reasonably quick this weekend.

"For me, especially with Valtteri not being able to do FP2, it was key to get as many laps in as possible to get as much data as we could.

"In that regard, we did well and we have enough to work with to prepare for qualifying."

While there was criticism by many drivers of the massive lack of grip off the racing line, both Alfa drivers enjoyed the challenges thrown up by Miami's track.

"The track is good, it’s challenging," said Bottas. "There’s the twisty section around the back that’s probably the most difficult part to get right."

Zhou admitted the track surface was a handful to deal with although the layout is "interesting".

"It was quite tricky out there," he said. "It’s fun to go to new tracks, but of course the surface is always an issue at the beginning of the weekend.

"It was very, very slippery, we do expect it to evolve a lot, but we have to find out exactly how much tomorrow. I quite enjoyed driving here today, it was a challenge, but it was interesting."

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