Alfa Romeo keeps the upgrades while Bottas expects better

Given the unconventional profile of the Baku circuit, which hosted the Formula 1 Azerbaijan Grand Prix this weekend, many teams have brought in new parts to tackle this aerodynamic challenge. This is especially true for Alfa Romeo, but the Italian team had to be careful during Friday’s free practice.

Valtteri Bottas and Zhou Guanyu did not ride with the new parts in the EL1 and EL2, as the brand in Biscione has very few spare parts and the risk of an accident is particularly high in Baku, a circuit in the heart of the city. As a result, two machines with a unique appearance have not been able to make it out of the second half of the standings this weekend, but Bottas expects to make a clear improvement in the standings on Saturday.

“I don’t think it fully reflects our situation”deposit The Finnish driver finished 15th in the EL2. “The thing is, we don’t have all the best parts in the car yet. Also, on my last lap [rapide]I was four out of ten but I lost everything locking the wheels so I’d be a little closer [du top 10]. With all the improvements we can make for tomorrow, it will be extremely tight. We’ve made quite a few settings changes [vendredi] And it was much better towards the end.”

Valtteri Bottas did not outperform 15th in FP1 and FP2 in Baku

Valtteri Bottas did not outperform 15th in FP1 and FP2 in Baku

“We don’t have much [de rechange pour les nouvelles pièces], there is always a risk in these urban circuits. I hope they help us move forward a bit. But we also need to find more. [de performance] Only this. I’m sure we can and I know we can still improve settings. It’s a very sensitive circuit, but with the right settings you can save a lot of time.”

Often left behind by his teammate, Zhou was not far from Bottas this time. The Chinese driver actually finished sixteenth in two practice sessions, showing a maximum delay of 149 per thousand in his leader’s prime. Enough to regain the rookie’s confidence after a series of complicated races.

“The results in the last races were obviously not very good”commented on “But we caught up with my teammate in terms of speed, we closed the gap. So it’s good to see that we were very close in both sessions. [vendredi]. I think the main goal of the team was to find a little more rhythm.”

Performing one last sector in slow corners at the Spanish GP, Alfa Romeo expected to shine at the Monaco GP two weeks ago, but fell short with qualifying Q1 for Zhou and Q2 for Bottas. So one question remains: will the principality’s scenario be repeated on another track with slow turns this weekend in Baku?

According to Bottas, lessons were learned after Monaco’s failure and the Finn has reason to believe in a good outcome in Azerbaijan: “As a street circuit Monaco has definitely not been kind to our car. But I think we learned a little bit from the setup. So if we do everything right.” [samedi], I’m optimistic: we should be able to fight for a place in Q3. And as always, I think race speed should be good. So I’m still optimistic for this weekend.”

Adam Cooper’s interview

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