Valtteri Bottas, Alfa Romeo, Bahrain International Circuit, 2022

Bottas much happier after “first proper day” in Alfa Romeo

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In the round-up: Valtteri Bottas was encouraged by a productive day’s running in Alfa Romeo’s new car.

In brief

Bottas sees “good progress” in Bahrain

Alfa Romeo covered the fewest laps of any team in the first pre-season test at Circuit de Catalunya. But Bottas enjoyed a productive afternoon yesterday, covering 66 laps.

He said he was “much happier” with Alfa Romeo’s progress. “It was actually a good day.”

“It’s nice to see good progress from the first test,” he continued. “I think we are heading in the right direction.

“We did some interesting set-up work today, actually now only was the first proper day that we actually started to learn about the balance, tools and the behaviour of the car and just getting into the right direction.”

His team mate Zhou Guanyu was temporarily sidelined with a problem which turned out to be less serious than the team feared at first.

“We initially thought it was a bigger issue with the hydraulics but it turned out it wasn’t actually too big,” said Bottas. “I think he missed one or two runs, that’s it, nothing major today.”

Harder to find balance in Bahrain – Mercedes

Mercedes head of trackside engineering Andrew Shovlin said the team found it harder to get their dramatically upgraded car tuned in after moving to the Bahrain International Circuit from the Circuit de Catalunya.

“Compared to Barcelona it’s been harder to get the car well-balanced around the lap here,” he said. “We do seem to have made a bit of progress through the day but it’s always difficult to judge accurately here as the falling temperature tends to flatter everything you do later in the day.

“We’ve got quite a lot of work still to do regarding validation of the update kit and will continue the data collection programme over the next few days so it’s a bit early to say whether everything is working as expected. There is certainly more to find in getting the balance right between slow and high-speed corners, and there’s also a bit too much tyre overheating.”

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Comment of the day

Pietro Fittipaldi’s plight is the latest example of a reserve driver being passed over for an F1 race seat.

it has been a problem for years. If you need someone to jump in the car at short notice, you’ll always go for the guy with recent F1 experience over the rookie.

Years ago I remember Lotus snubbing their reserve driver (and recently-crowned GP2 champion) Davide Valsecchi in favour of Heikki Kovalainen when they needed a replacement for Raikkonen following his back injury. Not that it did them any good – he trundled around in the midfield and probably cost them third in the constructors championship.

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Renegade.Ego and Browny!

On this day in motorsport

Author information

Will Wood
Will has been a RaceFans contributor since 2012 during which time he has covered F1 test sessions, launch events and interviewed drivers. He mainly...

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8 comments on “Bottas much happier after “first proper day” in Alfa Romeo”

  1. RandomMallard
    11th March 2022, 0:32

    That’s absolute class from Seb. Really taken a liking to him since he left Ferrari ngl.

    Interesting note about F1TV, and a bit of shame, I loved Palmer’s work on 5 Live.

    It’s not as if the 2021 season needed more soap-like drama. Not when you had that season and access to both Wolfd and Horner.

    I’m really liking seeing Magnussen back in F1.

    1. I loved how there always felt to be that bit of friction between Palmer and Benson, plus it is always good to have an ex drivers input.
      Any idea who will be replacing him anybody?

    2. Putin should go to ferrari. When he leaves everyone might end up liking him.

  2. Interesting, I’m not against Buxton and Palmer. I love me some Brundle, but Crofty shouting at me for two hours does sometimes get on my nerves, especially during race starts. I’m definitely going to give them a shot.

    Would be even better if they can get Alex Jacques and Jolyon Palmer instead of Buxton, that would be my ideal pairing.

    1. Those race starts are horrible indeed hahaha, I always feel such a relief as soon as Brundle takes over. Why on earth would anyone want to listen to that over the top shouting?

      1. I think the problem with Crofty’s commentary is he thinks he’s still on the radio. He feels the need to describe exactly what is being shown on TV. A better commentator would identify the drivers and the positions they’re fighting over (for example) but then let events unfold without screaming “and X goes left, Y goes right, they accelerate out of the corner”. I can see what’s happening!

      2. Then u missed f1 when Murray Walker was commenting simply the best loudest infact he could compete with the sound of the engines back then.

        1. Murray could be very annoying yes, but at least he didn’t take himself seriously.
          He would make the most outrages gaffs and mistakes and then laugh at himself along with everyone else.

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