Valtteri Bottas admitted that raising the ride height of the Alfa Romeo C43 at the United States Grand Prix was “more penalizing” for the team than its competitors.

The bumpy, unforgiving nature of The Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas prompted several runners to run a higher ride height to mitigate the issue.

Raising the ride height raised the possibility of losing out on performance, leaving several teams caught in two minds regarding the set-up of their cars with only one practice hour.

This prompted some to break parc ferme rules and start Sunday’s grand prix from the pit lane. Meanwhile, both Lewis Hamilton and Charles Leclerc were disqualified post-race for wearing their planks too thin.

However, Bottas and Alfa Romeo went with the cautious approach, ultimately sacrificing performance.

“It just felt like we were always on the back foot against almost every car today,” said Bottas.

“It just confirms what we felt yesterday that pure pace is not there, no matter which tyre compound, we’re just not fast enough.

“My feeling at the moment is that it was track-specific because it’s quite a bumpy track, so we need to lift the car up and I feel that is more penalizing for us than for other cars.”

Bottas was critical of the COTA track surface, with its bumps being a major talking point throughout the weekend.

“It’s still the same, no improvement,” he admitted. “It feels like every year the bumps are in different places, but there are always bumps.

“I mean, that’s one of the characteristics of this track, for our car was a tough one.”

Valtteri Bottas (FIN) Alfa Romeo F1 Team on the grid. 22.10.2023. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 19, United States Grand Prix, Austin, Texas, USA, Race Day. –, EMail: © Copyright: Bearne / XPB Images

Whilst both Aston Martin and Haas cars withdrew from the starting grid to the pitlane to modify their cars, Bottas admitted that wasn’t an option for Alfa Romeo.

“It wasn’t an option for us, because we were starting 12th and 13th, we thought that if we had a bit of pace then we could get some points, but we didn’t have the pace,” he rued.

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

Yuki Tsunoda’s five points for eighth place and fastest lap – coupled with a no score for Alfa Romeo – means the Hinwil-based outfit is just six points clear of the Faenza squad.

But Bottas is confident that Alfa Romeo will turn things in its favour this weekend in Mexico.

“At least last year Mexico was good for us, I’ve always liked the track,” the Finn concluded.

“At least it’s smooth, so we can run the car in a better window in terms of ride height and stiffness, so I’m a little bit more optimistic for that.

“I have a bit more hopes for Mexico, and hopefully we can be the team from that group to score some points.”

Source:  Read More 

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *