Valtteri Bottas parked his Alfa Romeo at the end of the starting straight, so he did not have the opportunity to learn more about the updates brought by the team, given that in the second round of the Spanish Grand Prix he was able to complete just a flying lap.
The Ferrari power unit, which was the one he had used in the first five races of the season, cannot be reused by Bottas, who at this point risks running into penalties during the championship.
At Imola Bottas had suffered from a broken exhaust, resulting in a fire in Friday’s qualifying. This forced him to skip FP2 on Saturday morning while the mechanics worked on the car. In Miami, on the other hand, he was involved in an accident in FP1 and therefore remained in the pits also in FP2.
After the race in Florida, team principal Frederic Vasseur had declared that Alfa needed a “clean” weekend in Barcelona to make the most of the new aerodynamic package.
The loss of precious track time was therefore a major blow, especially as the other car was shared by Robert Kubica and Guanyu Zhou, which may have complicated the feedback flow.
“Unfortunately this seems to be a trend,” Bottas said when Motorsport.com asked him about his bad luck.
“We are having difficult Fridays. This time it looks like it was an engine problem. So we can only look to tomorrow and try to maximize the session.”
“This is nothing new for us. I’m sure we can still have a good weekend, because based on the only lap I did in FP2, the car seemed good to me.”
Valtteri Bottas, Alfa Romeo F1 Team
Photo by: Steven Tee / Motorsport Images
Bottas confirmed that the team started conservatively in the first session, opting for a higher height to ensure there was no porpoising with the new package, before lowering it later.
“Based on that one lap in FP2, I can say it seems to work,” he said. “But in FP1 it was difficult to judge, because I think we were pretty conservative with the set-up to try to avoid porpoising and everything else.”
“So we just wanted to collect data in FP1. The single lap, as I said, went well, so I think we can learn something even from a single lap like that, and at least Zhou did some long runs. I think we can still play. a positive weekend “.
Vasseur admitted that the loss of the engine and track time was a double problem for the team.
“It also damaged the body, so we will have to repair it,” he told Motorsport.com of the power unit failure. “It was the first (used this year), so it could have been worse, it’s not a disaster.”
“But it’s a shame, because in FP1 we had to do a lot of tests, we didn’t do any real laps, and in FP2 we only did one lap. Ok, it’s Barcelona, so I think that in two laps Valtteri will recover, and also the lap he did was very good “.
“It’s definitely not an easy start to the weekend when you have a car split between two drivers and the other hasn’t had a session. It’s not a drama and I hope that from Saturday onwards the weekend will be clean.”