Formula 1

Valtteri Bottas ‘struggled until the end’ on Poor Hard Compound

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Credit: Xavi Bonilla / DPPI

Valtteri Bottas left the Mexico City Grand Prix with mixed emotions, after the Finn had hoped for more than tenth-place at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez following a very strong qualifying.

Having qualified sixth, splitting the Scuderia Ferrari‘s, hopes were high at the Alfa Romeo F1 Team ORLEN that big points were on the horizon; however, that wasn’t the case. After being overtaken instantly by Charles Leclerc and Fernando Alonso, Bottas ended up dropping to the bottom of the points due to a wrong tyre strategy, with the Hard compound having been a “struggle until the end”.

Bottas was nevertheless pleased to have least ended his top ten drought, which dates all the way back to the Canadian Grand Prix.

“We got one point out of this race, and this is a positive, but we expected more today. We were doing okay until the second stint: when we switched to the hard tyre, we just couldn’t get them to work. I never got them up to temperature and it was a bit of a struggle until the end.

“We thought the hards would be a good race tyre, but it wasn’t to be. It’s a shame as in the first stint we were on the pace with the cars around us, but at least we have something to show for it today and we increased our advantage in the championship.”

Traffic “compromised my race” – Zhou Guanyu

Zhou Guanyu had little to write home about after his afternoon in Mexico City, in what was his first-time racing around the very fast circuit. The thin air caused by the high altitude made following extremely difficult for all the drivers, which resulted in very little on-track action.

After starting twelfth, Zhou had to settle for thirteenth place at the end of the race, as a result of having been stuck in traffic which he believes “compromised” his race. Interestingly, the Chinese rookie labelled the weekend as “one of the toughest” to “get used to” as a rookie, highlighting the challenge that the venue presents drivers of all experience.

Despite this, Zhou was pleased to at least see his team-mate in the points and is certain that Alfa Romeo made a “step up”.

“The beginning of the race was quite fun, and the extended stint was looking good, but we ended up in traffic after the pit stop and that compromised my race a little bit. The second part of the race was trickier: making progress turned out to be quite difficult on this track, which of course is not easy, and it has definitely been one of the toughest one for me as a rookie to get used to.

“I was happy to see Valtteri get a point for the team and I hope some of my battles helped with this. In general, this weekend we have been consistent, and we did do a step up: we just need to keep working on our race performances to finish this season well.”

Credit: Florent Gooden / DPPI
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