Bottas on P10 at F1 Italian GP: “It’s really important for us even though it’s only one point”

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Photo Credit: Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake

With fourteen races completed and another eight remaining in the 2023 Formula One season, it is looking increasingly unlikely that Alfa Romeo will match, or improve on their tally of 55 points in last year’s constructors championship, nor repeat claiming 7th place in the standings by the end of the year, short of a fairly dramatic change in the pace of their Ferrari powered C43.

However, the Italian Grand Prix did bring some good fortune in their de facto home race for the Swiss based outfit, as Valtteri Bottas clad in a special Italian GP racing overalls brought home a point for the team. This ended a drought they had endured since Canada and brought their tally to 10 points in total, thus repeating their result of last year’s Italian GP, which saw Zhou Guanyu finish P10.

The Finnish driver qualified 14th on Saturday and ran a decent race, helped by a stricken Oscar Piastri falling back to be within striking distance of the point scoring places in the latter stages of the Grand Prix.

However, he may have been lucky to finish at all. On Lap 43, Bottas overhauled Logan Sargeant at the first chicane for tenth place. But as the Williams driver fought back going into the second chicane, the rookie driver braked too late on worn tyres. The two cars came together, with Bottas’ C43 receiving a fairly hefty clout in the sidepod from Sargeant’s front right wheel and both cars left the track before rejoining, both amazingly with little to no damage and able to continue to the end.

Agonisingly for Sargeant he did indeed receive his first points in Formula One as a result – two penalty points! With the stewards deeming he “never reached a point where he could have made the overtake” and was “wholly to blame” for the incident on a weekend where he looked to be in with his best shot of getting a point on the board since arriving in F1.

Bottas however, speaking to the press after the race didn’t have any frustration in his tone of voice and was rather forgiving of the young American driver, with the Finn no doubt focusing on his own positive result:

“I was defending, I was ahead going into the corner on the outside of turn four, he was on the inside, and I think he just locked up. There was space for two, he just locked up and hit me on the sidepod. Pretty clear.”

The 34-year-old was glad he was able to end the long run of being outside the points on a weekend that obviously was important for their Italian title sponsor, with the team running a special livery to commemorate the launch of a new limited edition road cat – the 33 Stradale:

“I think it’s really important for us even though it’s only one point. It’s been a bit of a dry season for a while, so I’m really glad we got that one point. It was an important race for the team, home of Alfa Romeo. So I’m happy for that.”