Formula 1

Valtteri Bottas: “We chose to be aggressive and take a risk with the strategy”

2 Mins read
Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd

Valtteri Bottas said the gamble by the Alfa Romeo F1 Team ORLEN to pit only twice during Sunday’s Spanish Grand Prix did not pay off, but the Finn was still happy to end the day with a strong sixth place finish at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.

Only once this season has the Finn not finished inside the points – he was forced to retire from the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix – and he was embroiled in the battle for the top five for much of Sunday afternoon.

However, Bottas pitted only twice while his rivals pitted three times, which meant he was lacking in pace in the closing laps that left him unable to keep ahead of Carlos Sainz Jr. or Lewis Hamilton as the Scuderia Ferrari and Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team drivers recovered from early issues.

“We got some good points today and we take plenty of positives home,” said Bottas. “Our pace throughout the race was really strong and it was nice to be in battles with the big teams ahead – it shows how much progress we are doing and how the upgrades we brought here seem to work well.

“In the end, we chose to be aggressive and take a risk with the strategy, going for a two-stopper when everyone else went for three: it didn’t pay off, as the tyre life of the medium compound was a bit shorter than we anticipated and we struggled at the end, but we still brought home a good result.

“I’m really looking forward to Monaco now, our car should be pretty good there.”

“Until the retirement, I was having a good race” – Zhou Guanyu

Unfortunately for team-mate Zhou Guanyu, it was another day of frustration, with a technical issue ending his afternoon after only twenty-eight laps whilst on course for a good result.

The Chinese driver has retired from the past two races due to car problems, meaning he has only scored a single point across his opening six events of his FIA Formula 1 World Championship career.

Zhou hopes the team can investigate the problem that caused him to stop on Sunday and provide a fix before next weekend’s Monaco Grand Prix.

“It’s disappointing to finish the race ahead of time for the second weekend in a row, especially when we were potentially on the way to a good result,” said Zhou.  “We need to further investigate the issue in detail, both to understand exactly what went on and to prevent it from happening again, since it’s hurting us a lot.

“Until the retirement, I was having a good race, fighting with the midfield guys ahead of me trying to get into the top ten. Let’s hope for a better outcome in Monaco, it will be a very interesting weekend.”

Zhou Guanyu retired early with a technical issue in Spain – Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd
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Thirty-something motorsport fanatic, covering Formula 1, Formula Renault 2.0 and Formula 3. Feel free to give him a follow on Twitter at @Paul11MSport.
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