Bottas calls for better “execution” from Alfa Romeo F1 after “messy” qualifyings at Spa

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Valtteri Bottas may not be fighting in the upper midfield like he did last year, but the Finn has been performing decently in an Alfa Romeo car that has vastly underperformed compared to expectations that were placed on them after last year’s sudden rise of the rankings.

While P12 may not been ideal and walking away with no points since Canada four races back made Bottas seem more realistic in his approach to last weekend’s Belgian Grand Prix. Bottas analyzed his weekend very analytically rather than aiming to score points every weekend, especially after ending up on the grass just after the start following a close shave with Yuki Tsunoda.

Photo credit: Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake

“It was quite straightforward, the only thing was the start, I had to go off the track before Turn 1, I was next to Yuki and he was just drifting to the right, so that was pretty much and the only thing is that I lost quite a lot of momentum, otherwise it was quite straightforward, and we fought back.

“That was the pace we had today, around 12th quickest.”

Even though 12th seemed like the pace that the car had this weekend, there were positives to take from Spa, especially since the most recent package of upgrades that was brought by the Swiss-based squad . For example, as Bottas explained, the car seemed to handle better, and remain on par with its competitors.

“It definitively felt better than, for example, in Silverstone, at the end of the race all the cars around us seemed to have similar pace, so it will be the small things that will make the difference from now on.”

While the current iteration of the car seems to do its job based on its performance, Bottas claims that there are more upgrades coming from the Swiss-based team after the summer break that will hopefully allow them to move up the order and finish in the points more regularly by the end of the season.

“There is something in the pipeline for after the break, but it also will depend on what the others will bring.

“If they can also make steps, then it’s going to be the same-same; if not many teams will bring anything significant, maybe we can be inside the top ten a bit more regularly, hopefully. It’s not only down to us.”

Photo credit: Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake

While upgrades may allow the car to go faster, there are also strategic aspects of each weekend that also impact the opportunity to score points. For example, Bottas mentioned that this week, both qualifyings were especially difficult, due to not getting out on track at the ideal time.

“This weekend both qualifyings were a bit messy, we didn’t get the timings quite right.

“For sure the car pace is important but also the execution of the whole weekend needs to be perfect if you want points, nowadays. It’s also the aim to try to smooth things off.”