Valtteri Bottas believes Alfa Romeo have improved their pace and reliability for 2023 based on his time in the new C43 car during testing.
Bottas summarised his test as “lots of laps, some issues, but I feel that’s part of testing”, taking away the positive that there was “way less [issues] than last year”.
“The feeling with the car, it’s quite positive,” he explained. “As always in testing it’s impossible to read where you are exactly, but it looks like we’re more or less on the target.”
Bottas said the team’s goal is simply to be “in better positions than last year.” He started 2022 strongly, taking points in seven of the first nine races, but from there on was usually fighting for 12th place or lower.
“I feel like we’ve stepped up as a team in terms of the quality of the car,” said Bottas of the C43, adding there has “definitely” been an improvement in reliability despite a suspected power unit problem which left him stranded on track at one point during testing.
Reliability is “way, way better than last year at this point, so I think we are well prepared, as well as you can [be],” he stressed.
Although testing only offered a glimpse into the performance of the teams, Bottas is encouraged by the early signs of Alfa Romeo’s pace. “It seems like we’re not like back of the grid, so that’s good to see,” he said in response to a question from RaceFans.
“The main thing is the feeling with the car, I definitely feel the improvements we’ve been trying to do for this year. And the stability of the car is much better. And that way you can gain much more confidence.”
With “nothing fundamental wrong really with the car”, Alfa Romeo “managed to get the set-up quite nice in these three days, and it’s really, really nice to drive,” said Bottas. “On the whole [last] day I only had one little lock-up.”
“The tendency seems to be that if anything on high speed, balance is a little bit neutral,” he added. “Slow speed is really stable. So there’s still a bit of a difference high to low speed, but I would say at least 50% better than last year. So that opens up quite a bit of set-up options for us.”
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