Valtteri Bottas, Alfa Romeo, Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, 2022

Two-stop strategy gamble cost us chance to beat Hamilton, says Bottas

2022 Spanish Grand Prix

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Valtteri Bottas says a gamble on a long final stint in the Spanish Grand Prix left him unable to take advantage of Lewis Hamilton’s problems at the end of the race.

The Alfa Romeo driver ran a two-strategy on a day when most drivers came in three times. His first stint was 14 laps on soft tyres, followed by a 20-lap stint on a fresh set of mediums. That left him needing to cover 32 laps to the chequered flag on another set of mediums.

However Bottas said his final stint was a stretch too far to remain competitive. He ran as high as third at times, aided by problems for the Ferrari drivers and Hamilton, and hoped a podium finish might be possible at one stage.

“When you are at those positions and things are going smoothly and you see things happening to other cars, you were thinking that, ‘okay, it could be could be my day.’

“I think strategy-wise we took a bit of a risk. We left the last stint to be very long. In the end it was too long, the tyres died towards the end. But, I mean, we tried.”

He believes the two-stop strategy was a risk worth taking under the circumstances. “Today we had the chance to choose are we going to be the best of the rest, or are we going to try something more? So we tried something different.

(L to R): Max Verstappen, Red Bull; George Russell, Mercedes; Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, 2022
Gallery: 2022 Spanish Grand Prix in pictures
“It didn’t work out but the risk was pretty minimal and there was not that much threat from behind.”

Hamilton slowed suddenly with a water leak at the end of the race. Bottas suspects he might have been able to pass him had he run a more conventional strategy, but said the Alfa Romeo probably wasn’t quick enough on the day to finish much higher than his eventual sixth place.

“I think there’s just not quite enough pace. Maybe, with the issues Lewis had towards the end, if we would have had a bit shorter last stint [it] could have been maybe possible. But anyway it’s still good points.”

Alfa Romeo’s upgrade package for Barcelona had clearly improved the car’s competitiveness, relative to Miami, Bottas added. “At some times of the race, our pace was actually pretty strong.

“So definitely, it was crucial to get those upgrades that we had this weekend because we’re going to need that big rear wing [in Monaco] for sure.”

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2022 Spanish Grand Prix

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Author information

Hazel Southwell
Hazel is a motorsport and automotive journalist with a particular interest in hybrid systems, electrification, batteries and new fuel technologies....
Claire Cottingham
Claire has worked in motorsport for much of her career, covering a broad mix of championships including Formula One, Formula E, the BTCC, British...

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6 comments on “Two-stop strategy gamble cost us chance to beat Hamilton, says Bottas”

  1. Yes, in the end the 3 stop strategy clearly was the better one for most cars since the tyres just did not hold on enough and it’s not as easy to keep cars behind with older tyres as we have seen in past years. Good job done from Bottas the whole weekend though.

    1. Yes, noticed after pitting and losing a few positions the drivers in new cars were then blasting past the others, 2 sec a lap.

  2. Ah that Bottas / Hamilton rivalry, don’t you just love it.

    This is possibly the last time we’ll here anything like this from Bottas. Could have would have should have.

  3. Thing is Ham basically did 2 stops aswell after pitting lap 1. That was so underrated by Hamilton.

  4. After all this time Bottas and Alfa Romeo can’t still can see the whole picture…
    He could have been in front not only of Hamilton but also of Sainz.

    The race operations of Alfa and specially Haas have been dreadful. They could have been the best of the rest.

    1. Absolutely true.

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