Bottas: “I definitely feel the improvements” compared to the 2022 Alfa Romeo

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Valtteri Bottas says he can “feel the improvements” in the new Alfa Romeo C43 compared to last year’s car after a productive pre-season test in Bahrain.

Last season at the test in Barcelona, the Swiss team was plagued by unreliability which continued throughout the campaign.

Last week Bottas and Zhou Guanyu completed a combined 401 laps and were interrupted by just one stoppage with a suspected Ferrari power unit issue and a minor systems error.

“It was definitely way better than last year at this point,” Bottas commented on the C43’s reliability to media in Bahrain. “So, I think we’re well prepared, as well as you can with three days.

“I feel like we’ve stepped up as a team in terms of the quality of the car, we have had fewer issues by this point.

“I definitely feel the improvements we’ve been trying to do for this year, and the stability of the cars is much better. And that way, you can gain more confidence,” he explained after ending the test third-fastest on Saturday.

“Last year, testing wasn’t so much fun, so we’re in a good place after three days.”

Bottas explained that the team found a good window for the cars setup and the C43 is enjoyable to drive, despite the balance at high-speed not being quite to his liking.

“There’s nothing fundamentally wrong with a car, so I think we managed to get the set-up quite nice in these three days.

“It’s really nice to drive, so it’s a good starting point, for sure. I think I only had one little lock-up in one full day.”

“There’s still a bit of a difference between high to low speed, but I would say it’s at least 50% better than last year, so that opens up quite a bit of set-up options.

“It’s much better than last year. The tendency seems to be that – if anything – on high speed the balance is a little bit neutral.”

Alfa Romeo will be looking to build on their sixth place finish in the Constructors’ Championship last season.