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F1 | Spanish GP | Bottas on Alfa Romeo's two-stop strategy after finishing P6: "The risk was pretty minimal and there was not that much threat from behind"

For the fifth time in six races this season, the 32-year-old Finn scored points. He finished P6 after getting passed by Hamilton and Sainz near the conclusion of the race.

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F1 | Spanish GP | Bottas on Alfa Romeo's two-stop strategy after finishing P6: "The risk was pretty minimal and there was not that much threat from behind"
Fuente imagen: Alfa Romeo Racing

An impressive start to 2022 continued for Valtteri Bottas as he bagged another eight points for Alfa Romeo at the Spanish Grand Prix.

After missing crucial race simulation running in FP2, the Finn didn’t let that hamper him yesterday as he was comfortably best of the rest behind the top three teams.

In fact, a P4 looked on for quite a while before Sainz and Hamilton overtook him late in the race as Alfa went for a two-stop versus three for the Ferrari and Mercedes drivers.

“When you are in those positions, things are going smoothly and you see things happening to other cars [Leclerc breaking down, the spin for Sainz and incident between Magnussen and Hamilton], you’re thinking 'okay it could be my day’.

On a hugely positive note for Bottas and the Swiss-based team, they finished 15s ahead of the next midfield runner Esteban Ocon. That’s despite ending up on the less than ideal strategy, but could afford to risk it with the advantage they had over the rest of the midfield.

“I think strategy-wise we took a bit of a risk today. We left the last stint to be very long but in the end it was too long. The tyres died towards the end.

“I mean we tried. I think today we had the chance to choose kind of how we’re going to be best of the rest or are we going to try something more. We tried something different and it didn’t work out.

“The risk was pretty minimal and there was not that much threat from behind.”

Bottas is sure that they didn’t have the pace for a podium if they had gone for a three-stop, but was left to wonder if he could have beaten Hamilton because of the lifting and coasting his former teammate had to do in the final three laps.

“I think a podium… no. Just not quite enough pace.

“Maybe with the issues Lewis had towards the end – if we had a bit shorter last stint – it could have been possible. But anyway, still good points.”

Alfa Romeo brought upgrades to the Spanish Grand Prix and they worked well as they dominated the midfield fight on Sunday. Bottas agreed it was a boost for the team when asked in a media session that included MotorLAT.

“Absolutely. In parts of the race our pace was really pretty strong. It was definitely crucial to get those upgrades that we had this weekend because we’re going to need that big rear wing next week, that’s for sure.”

Just like in Miami, it was very warm for race, albeit with less humidity.

While Bottas believes physically it was easier, the tyres suffered more at Circuit de Catalunya yesterday.

“For the tyres it was worse here [than Miami]. It really required a lot of management and definitely the last stint I had was a bit too long. Even with management, the tyres were completely done towards the end.”

The ten-time Grand Prix winner had asked over team radio to pit to try and go for the fastest lap at the end after Sainz and Hamilton had passed. This was rejected by the team.

He hopes that it could be an option in the future.

“We’re going to have a look. They said it’s going to be too close with Esteban and there’s obviously always risk involved.

“I think at this stage we had to take the points, but maybe in the future we need to have a look if we want to risk a bit more.”

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