Bottas says key to Sauber improvements ‘not rocket science’


Sauber suffered another dismal race weekend in Canada, and yet Valtteri Bottas insists the key to improving the performance of the Swiss outfit's car “isn’t rocket science”.

The future Audi works outfit is stuck in a rut. The team is the only one on the grid without a single point to their name, and their qualifying performances have steadily declined since the start of the 2024 season.

In Montreal, after both Bottas and teammate Zhou Guanyu started their race from the pitlane following the team’s decision to reconfigure its cars after qualifying, the Finn made some decent headway in the mixed conditions, running as high as P12 during his first stint on the intermediate tyres.

However, Bottas then lost a position after switching to the slick tyre “one lap too early” as the track started to dry, eventually concluding his afternoon P13.

The F1 veteran rued the misstep as he felt that it robbed him of a potential top-ten finish given the retirements suffered up ahead later on by both Ferrari drivers and Red Bull’s Sergio Perez.

Meanwhile, Alpine, Sauber’s direct rival, capitalized on the chaos, securing two top-10 finishes.

"We still have work to do," said Bottas. "We need to keep bringing upgrades and make the car faster. It is not rocket science, we just need more bits."

Bottas suggested that a few changes were on the docket for next week’s Spanish Grand Prix in Barcelona.

"We have small things but a very high downforce track, a different track to here,” he said. “I think it is going to be close, as we have seen. The next step is to get back to Q2 and then we can fight a bit better."


As for Zhou, the Chinese driver admitted to having spent a “lonely” afternoon, isolated on his own at the tail end of the field. The 25-year-old, who caused two red flags in practice following off-track excursions, conceded that it had been a messy weekend.

"Just struggling across the different compounds,” he commented. “At the halfway stage of the race, I was a bit out of the race anyway, so a bit lonely.

"We have something already planned back at the factory to check everything, make sure we are starting a little bit more from scratch.

“These two weekends, I feel like something is not clicking right and this weekend, all these mistakes, they never happened before.

"So we try to understand all of our issues and have some plans for the next race."

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