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F1 | Hungarian GP | Alfa Romeo on their upgraded floor: "A positive step.”

Alfa Romeo’s Head of Trackside Engineering talks about the fuel system issue that ended his driver’s race while trying out the upgrade.

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F1 | Hungarian GP | Alfa Romeo on their upgraded floor: "A positive step.”
Fuente imagen: Alfa Romeo F1 Team

Valtteri Bottas's Hungarian GP wasn't an easy one, as the Finn was forced to retire with only an handful of laps to spare after running P10 for quite some time before the Astons passed him.

Alfa Romeo's Head of Trackside Engineering Xevi Pujolar explained in a media session that they had to retire the car due to a sudden issue involving the fuel system:

"We had a technical issue in the fuel system that we are currently investigating, not ideal."

"Just from nowhere, no warning. Everything was okay until that lap, First we saw the light reported on the data, Valtteri mentioned straightaway that he was losing power, and that was it, just went to stop straight away."

He denied it was the same kind of fuel system issue that had affected Zhou in an earlier round, which was worrying the Spaniard even more: "It was a new issue, from what it looks at the moment. We need to understand why and where is it coming from."

The DNF happened in the event Bottas was trying out a new, upgraded floor. However, both the former Mercedes driver and the team had expressed a positive feedback on it:

"It was a positive step, yes, because in the last few events we have seen our competitors needing more upgrades and we were just one step behind, we were waiting for that upgrade. It was working well, and for the next race we will have both cars aligned to it, which is good."

Asked if the drivers' performance had been impacted negatively by using the hard tyres, just like it had happened to Leclerc, Pujolar denied this, adding that they didn't suffer in the end because of graining but due to the starting issue the team has been dealing with since earlier in the season:

"For us the hard was actually ok, we didn't have big problems. We were having a bit more of a problem later on with the blue flags, and also then it was because of people with fresher tyres catching up."

"But I think that was not the problem of the hard tyre, I think the problem is because we lost too many positions in Lap 1, and then we got stuck in traffic, that meant we wouldn't be as up the road as we planned, that's what Alpine did."

They were forced to use them, as the last set of softs had been used in qualifying in order to reach Q3, and Pujolar doesn't regret the strategical choice:

"Our plan was to do what the two Alpines did, that's why we needed the fourth set of softs in qualifying, aimed to be in the top 10 and then, once you do that, you commit pretty much to the one stop."

"The top teams you know, Ferrari, Mercedes, Red Bull can be going to the Q3 and still be saving tyres, but for us if we want to be in Q3 we need to use the tyres and we have to commit to that strategy."

"I think it was correct, as far as you don't lose too many positions in Lap 1 that unfortunately we are going to need to solve," he concluded.

Pujolar also talked about the differences between this year's and last year's race in terms of race strategy, and the way planning such things has changed with the new regulations.

"We need to take into consideration that, even at a track like this, it's not as easier as before to protect the track position."

The 2022 cars can overtake much easily, and he also mentioned the difficulties in forecasting tyre behaviour whilst having a much higher track temperatures than mid race during practice sessions: "Sometimes to predict all that, it becomes a bit tricky."

"Depending on what you do, for sure the overtaking difficulty is lower than in the past, and it's something that we are always taking into consideration when we prepare our strategies this season."

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