Bottas: Alfa finally ‘understands upgrades 100 percent’


Valtteri Bottas feels that Alfa Romeo owes its double podium finish in Qatar in part to its now solid understanding of the recent upgrades implemented on its C43 car.

A good performance in qualifying positioned Bottas ninth on the grid at Lusail, and from there “a good strategy and a really clean race” allowed the Finn to finish P8, one spot ahead of his Alfa teammate Zhou Guanyu.

While Bottas also benefitted from Sergio Perez’s collection of track limit penalties that set the Mexican back and from Carlos Sainz’s forced absence from the race, it was the Alfa charger’s best result since Bahrain at the start of the season.

To improve the aero efficiency of its C43, Alfa Romeo introduced a revised diffuser, modified floor fences and a new front wing on its car in Singapore.

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In Qatar, the Swiss outfit added redesigned planes and endplates on the beam wing to enhance aero flow throughout the car’s bodywork.

“We’ve learned a lot about the upgrades,” said Bottas. “We finally understand them 100 percent, and now we are starting to get more out of them

“Of course, maybe the track favoured us a little bit, but at least we seem to be stronger than in previous races and I’m happy.

“The next race [in Austin] is quite a different track again, but it seems like we were definitely more competitive [in Qatar] than other weekends.”


However, while there was progress, Bottas noted that a significant amount of aero drag is still weighing on the C43’s performance.

“I think we’re probably still the slowest on the straight, so something to work on,” he said.

From the perspective of the Constructor’s championship, Alfa seized P8 from Haas thanks to its bag of points in Qatar and the team now sits just 7 points behind Williams.

“We’re fighting for every single place and every point counts,” said the ten-time Grand Prix winner.

“We overtook Haas in the championship, so I’m happy. Of course, we had a bit of luck in a way because Lewis went out, and also Sainz didn’t start, otherwise P8 would have been difficult.

“Sometimes you need that bit of luck but we also just got everything right, even Zhou starting last and finishing 10th, he had a great race.”

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