Bottas: “More penalising” for Alfa Romeo to raise their car versus other teams at F1 US GP

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It was an event to forget for Alfa Romeo at the United States Grand Prix as their race pace in both the sprint and Grand Prix was extremely disappointing. Bottas finished P14 on the road in the Grand Prix, with Zhou one place behind.

If you add in the fact Williams nabbed 3 points because of Charles Leclerc and Lewis Hamilton’s disqualifications, that added to the bruising nature of it. They are now 10 points behind with 4 races to go.

Zhou Guanyu commented on the performance of the car across the meeting and complained about how they severely lacked grip and pace to their main competitors.

“Very tricky. No pace to be honest. I was expecting a bit more from the car, but today I don’t think anything would change our race. We had a good first stint and then we pitted maybe a bit too early. But then, in the end, I think I’d finish where Valtteri is.

“I don’t think I can do anymore because a lot of people seems to have a massive grip advantage compared to us out there.”

Zhou is hopeful for more on Sunday in Mexico after the disappointing race pace they had at COTA. He also took hope from his own strong qualifying performances on Friday (P12) and Saturday (P15) as he beat Bottas in both sessions.

“We have some positives to take over the weekend. Normally we struggle a bit on the sprint race format but this weekend, from my side, I maximised everything on qualy days.

“One-lap pace was strong but normally I expect a bit more, like better race (pace), but today it was the opposite of the last few races.

“But I am sure we’ll be a lot faster in the race in Mexico.”

Valtteri Bottas backed up the comments from his stablematw, complaining about the car’s lack of grip and inability to race the rest of the field.

“We just felt like we were always on the back foot almost against any car today. I think it just confirms from yesterday that the pure pace is not there, no matter which tyre compound. We’re just not fast enough.

Alfa Romeo showed incredibly strong pace in Qatar, with both cars finishing in the points on Grand Prix Sunday.

But with the bumpy nature of COTA, the Finnish driver believes they were impacted more than others as they needed to raise the ride height of the car.

“My feeling at the moment is quite track specific because it’s a bumpy track. We need to lift the car up, and I feel like for us it’s more penalising than some other cars.”

And the possibility to start from the pit lane along with Haas and Aston Martin was ruled out due to their decent starting slots.

Nonetheless, Bottas admits he wishes it could have been done afterwards considering how the Grand Prix went.

“It wasn’t an option for us because we stated 12th and 13th, so we thought that if we have a bit of pace, we could get some points. But we didn’t have the pace.

“If I could do the day again, yes, probably I would do that, but it’s not an easy decision.”

Photo credit: Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake