Formula 1

Valtteri Bottas: “The timing of the Safety Car was ideal, I was like ‘happy days!’”

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Credit: DPPI

Valtteri Bottas was lucky with the timing of the safety car during Sunday’s Canadian Grand Prix, with the Finn securing seventh place as a result.

Yuki Tsunoda’s crash at turn two as he exited the pits on cold tyres brought out the safety car, with the timing falling in line with the Alfa Romeo F1 Team ORLEN driver’s solitary pit stop to switch from the Hard to Medium Pirelli tyre.

Bottas has now scored points in seven of the opening nine races of the 2022 FIA Formula 1 World Championship season, but he was happy that he was back showing the kind of pace he had earlier in the season at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve after struggling in both the Monaco and Azerbaijan Grand Prix weekends.

“We can be pleased with today’s race, especially with the pace we have shown throughout the afternoon,” said Bottas.  

“It’s always good to get double points, particularly after a couple of difficult races, but the most important thing was to see that we could fight the cars around us and that we are back at the level we had at the start of the season.

“My race was quite straightforward: I started on the hard tyre and then everything went perfectly for me. The timing of the Safety Car was ideal, I was like ‘happy days!’

“It felt really good to be out there, and I’m happy for Zhou as well. He had strong pace and he can take a lot of confidence from this weekend.”

“It’s been a pretty good weekend for me and for the team” – Zhou Guanyu

Team-mate Zhou Guanyu enjoyed his best weekend of the season to date, with the Chinese driver converting his maiden top ten start into an eighth-place finish.

After a run of bad luck – Zhou had retired from three of the previous four races prior to Canada – it all came together at last for the FIA Formula 2 graduate, and he was always a contender for the points at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve.

Despite it being Zhou’s first time at the track, he performed superbly throughout the weekend and was rewarded with only his second top ten finish of the season, with the result usurping his tenth-place finish from the Bahrain Grand Prix in March.

“It’s been a pretty good weekend for me and for the team, and I am really happy with P8 as it’s my best finish in F1 so far,” said Zhou.  “Today we did everything correctly on track and with the strategy: we got stuck behind Lance for a while, but nevertheless we had clean, fast progress over the weekend.

“We extracted everything we could and got the full potential out of the car, and finishing in the Top ten after a sequence of frustrating races is a nice reward.

“I obviously didn’t have much experience on this track, but we got the job done in tricky conditions yesterday and today we had strong pace: I knew that we would be able to fight for points, and we did.

“I am super happy for the everyone here and back at the factory, we really deserved this result for the work done and the progress achieved over the past few weeks. I’m really looking forward to continuing in this vein in the next races.”

Zhou Guanyu took a career-best eighth place in Canada – Credit: Antonin Vincent / DPPI
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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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