Bottas: Alfa single-lap pace improvement 'crucial' in Monaco

© XPB 

Valtteri Bottas says the single-lap gains registered by Alfa Romeo in Miami could prove "crucial" for the Swiss outfit's efforts to achieve a good performance next weekend in Monaco.

While Bottas finished only 13th in Miami last time out, the Finn qualified among the top 10 and comfortably ran inside the first half of the field during his first stint.

Bottas believes that his feisty performance in the opening stages of the race in Florida could translate into a decent showing on the Principality's tight and twisty layout.

And as usual, next weekend's glitzy event will be a home race of sorts for the Alfa charger.

"Monaco is a race that needs no introduction: it’s just special, and it’s also racing at home so I’m looking forward to being able to sleep in my bed!" he said.

"I’m very motivated to do well here, where you have to give it all and push your performances to the limit.

"The single-lap pace we showed in Miami was an improvement compared to previous races, and it could be crucial on a track where qualifying performance is so important.

"There is still some work to be done – and the team took the time since Miami to keep working on developing our car.

"We will keep pushing forward, aiming to further improve our performance, and add more points to our tally."

Bottas' Alfa teammate Guanyu Zhou revealed that the upgrades scheduled for last weekend's cancelled Emilia Romagna Grand Prix will be introduced on its car at Monaco.

"We showed some progress in Miami, and we must keep up with the momentum as there are still improvements to make," said the Chinese driver.

"We were set to bring upgrades to the C43 in Imola, and we will have them in Monaco this weekend. Hopefully, they’ll help us making a positive change and getting back in the points."

This season, Zhou has significantly reduced the performance gap to his teammate, with the two drivers now almost evenly matched on pure pace.

In Miami, Bottas said the tight spread between the two was a reflection of Zhou's progress rather of his own performance subsiding.

"I don't feel like I've gone backwards," said the ten-time Grand Prix winner.

"I feel like he's improved. Obviously, last year was his rookie season and when the car was good last year, that's when he had his first races.

"I was scoring bigger points, so he's definitely made a better step forward, no doubt. So we're definitely more evenly matched."

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