Alfa Romeo team principal Fred Vasseur was more than pleased with Valtteri Bottas' performance at the 2022 F1 Miami GP. The Finn had qualified in P5 and was also running in fifth place in the latter stages of the race, but ultimately lost positions to both the Mercedes cars after running wide at Turn 17.
Bottas lost out on all of FP2, putting him on the backfoot against his rivals. Despite this and his crash in FP1, the Alfa Romeo driver had a spectacular qualifying and placed only behind the Ferraris and Red Bulls on Saturday. He outqualified both the Mercedes drivers, however, Lewis Hamilton and George Russell overtook him during the last laps of the race. Despite this, Vasseur is more than pleased with Valtteri Bottas, claiming that Alfa Romeo are sitting happily behind the top three teams.
The French team principal told Motorsport.com:
“It’s a strange feeling now. First I think that when we do the summary of the weekend that we are first behind the top three, and I think it’s a good result for us, a very strong result for the team. We have to keep in mind that last year P7 was probably our best result, and was perhaps less than this. And overall it’s a very strong weekend from the team with P5 in quali.”
Speaking about the 32-year-old driver's battle with former Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton, Vasseur claimed the team missed out on high-fuel runs in Free Practice, giving the seven-time world champion the upper hand over Bottas.
"On the first stint was the medium we were faster than Lewis [Hamilton], we were putting away. But for sure that we knew that it will be a bit more difficult for the race, because we didn't do long stints on on Friday, and we had no clue about the tyre deg and so on. Ten laps before the end we were P5 because [George] Russell had to pit and Lewis was behind us. The last couple of laps didn't come in our direction."
Valtteri Bottas claims simulators play a huge role in modern F1
Valtteri Bottas feels simulators play a pivotal role in the preparation of a modern-day F1 driver. The 32-year-old Finn moved to Alfa Romeo in 2022 after five seasons at Mercedes alongside seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton and has frequently partaken in simulator runs over the years.
Speaking at a drivers' press conference ahead of the 2022 F1 Miami GP, Valtteri Bottas said:
“Nowadays, of course, the simulators are hugely important with a lack of testing and as the technology improves, you can get more and more out of it. And the first time I tried the Alfa Sauber simulator, I could feel that there was quite a difference to the one at Mercedes because Mercedes started a long, long time ago and our team, we only started a few years ago.”
Bottas is currently P8 in the 2022 Drivers Standings, just two places behind his former teammate Lewis Hamilton. With the Spanish GP just around the corner, only time will tell whether the Finnish driver will be successful in his besting the seven-time world champion in Spain.
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