Bottas buoyed by single lap gains
By Mat Coch
Thursday 25th May, 2023 - 12:40am
Alfa Romeo Sauber driver Valtteri Bottas is encouraged by single-lap pace improvements seen at the Miami Grand Prix.
Bottas qualified 10th in Miami, the first time he’d progressed to the final phase of qualifying this season.
It’s been a tough campaign thus far for the Swiss squad, which has just six points to its name from the opening five races.
Four of those have come courtesy of Bottas, achieved at the opening round in Bahrain.
His next best result was 11th, a fact that flatters to deceive as he was last to the chequered flag but benefitted from Carlos Sainz’s penalty.
Alfa Romeo Sauber introduced upgrades in Melbourne, with a circuit-specific package deployed in Azerbaijan.
It was one of the few teams to introduce new parts in Miami, with a revised beam wing fitted to Bottas and Zhou Guanyu’s cars.
“The single-lap pace we showed in Miami was an improvement compared to previous races, and it could be crucial on a track where qualifying performance is so important,” Bottas said ahead of this weekend’s Monaco GP.
“There is still some work to be done – and the team took the time since Miami to keep working on developing our car.
“We will keep pushing forward, aiming to further improve our performance, and add more points to our tally.”
Bottas’ preparations for this weekend’s race, which is effectively a home event for the Finn who is now based in Monaco, included a gravel cycling event in Scotland.
He and partner Tiffany Cromwell took in the event last weekend in place of the cancelled Emilia Romagna Grand Prix.
“As much as we were all very keen to race, not going ahead with the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix has been the right call,” he opined.
“I send all my sympathy and support to the affected populations, and I look forward to being back in Imola in the future.
“Monaco is a race that needs no introduction: it’s just special, and it’s also racing at home so I’m looking forward to being able to sleep in my bed,” he added.
“I’m very motivated to do well here, where you have to give it all and push your performances to the limit.”
Opening practice in Monaco begins on Friday at 13:30 local time (21:30 AEST).