Alfa Romeo managed 120 laps on the first day of testing with Bottas logging in a majority of the laps. After having a frustrating testing experience Finn was rejoiced with his team’s “first proper day” and shared his opinion.
Valtteri Bottas believes the problems that plagued Alfa Romeo’s woeful Barcelona Formula 1 test are now “behind us” after the team’s “first proper day” without issue in Bahrain.
Only Haas completed fewer laps than Alfa Romeo’s 175 during the opening three-day 2022 test at Barcelona, with its new signing Valtteri Bottas completing the least of any full-time driver on just 54 laps.
But the team and Bottas enjoyed a far more drama-free day on the opening day of the Bahrain test, with Bottas logging 66 laps in the afternoon after his rookie team-mate Zhou Guanyu completed 54 in the morning, only halted briefly by an issue that caused him to stop in the pitlane.
With a combined total of 120 laps, this gave Alfa the third-highest lap tally, only behind 2021 title protagonists Red Bull (138) and Mercedes (122).
“The best news is that we had no issues at all in the afternoon so all the issues we had in Barcelona they are now behind us,” Bottas said.
“That’s a positive and I’m proud of the team to be able to do that in one week.
“That was crucial that we got those laps and we finally managed to do some set-up work and find out how the car responds and what it means and how it behaves.
“It was nice to feel and see the progress through the day.
“I could see some nervous people in the morning hoping that everything goes smoothly and now I could see quite a few happy faces.”
Bottas also reported “no issues” with porpoising, as the team and “the whole grid is probably running a car with a compromised set-up” to compensate for it.
Zhou agreed that it was a “step up from Barcelona” and was pleased to increase his familiarity with Alfa Romeo’s C42.
“Every time you step into the car you always feel more confident,” Zhou explained.
“Today was the first time I did a decent long run so I was still having some stuff I have to learn.
“It’s good to trial these kinds of conditions, short runs, long runs. Putting everything together in qualifying in F1 is definitely the key.
“Of course, I still need some decent mileage to have a final configuration, with the set-up I prefer on my side.”
Ten-time grand prix winner Bottas ended the opening day seventh fastest while Zhou was 14th out of the 15 drivers to set a time.
The issues we had are behind us – Bottas The issues we had are behind us – Bottas