Bottas car ‘not right’ in Spanish GP
By Mat Coch
Monday 5th June, 2023 - 12:34pm
Valtteri Bottas revealed he battled with a car that was “not right” through Qualifying and the Spanish Grand Prix.
He ended the race 19th, ahead only of Williams rookie Logan Sargeant, while team-mate Zhou Guanyu scored two points for ninth.
Bottas qualified 16th, three places down on what Zhou managed, with his car already experiencing issues.
At the time they were dismissed, with odd conditions prevailing around the Barcelona venue, but proved to be a precursor to a difficult day at the office.
“Yesterday we had really unique conditions, but I wasn’t really on the pace in any of my laps, so that explains something,” he said.
With cars in parc ferme conditions, whatever gremlin affected the C43 was carried into the race.
Bottas struggled for pace, and ran last on track at points while his lap times were well off those of Zhou in the sister car.
“For me it’s pretty clearly there was something not right with the car, because I was more than one second per lap off, just sliding around,” he said.
“Whether it was a mechanical or aero issue I cannot say, because the balance was not, like, way off, but it was just lack of overall grip.
“So, we’ll see if there’s something damaged in the car.
“Either something mechanical has been installed wrongly, before qualifying, something that affects the ride height or something, or there’s something aero-wise,” he added.
Struggling for pace, Bottas played the team game midway through the 66-lap encounter.
In the midst of the pit stop cycle, the Finn found himself on track ahead of Kevin Magnussen, who had stopped and was effectively racing for track position with Zhou.
While powerless to keep the Haas at bay, Bottas was able to aid his team-mate’s chances by delaying Magnussen’s progress.
“It’s good to see that my team-mate was up there, he could fight in the top 10, that’s positive,” Bottas said
“But, first of all, we need to find out what was wrong with my car.
“I just had a chat with Zhou and he was saying the pace was quite good, it’s good, but not for me,” he laughed.
“It’s good to see that the upgrades are doing the job.”
Alfa Romeo Sauber is now tied on points with Haas for seventh in the constructors’ championship on eight points, while Bottas is 14th with four – the same tally as Zhou.