F1 | Bottas on hard tyre difficulties in Mexico, while Pujolar admits Alfa Romeo's strategy was not the right choice
The Finn comments after the Mexican weekend where he fought hard to score a point to add to Alfa Romeo's fight in the constructor's championship with Aston Martin.
In their fight to dominate P6 in the constructors' championship against Aston Martin, Alfa Romeo was hoping for a good result after one of their best qualifying performances of the year achieved in Mexico, when former Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas managed to qualify sixth, splitting the Ferarris, on Saturday evening at México City.
Ultimately, the Finn only managed to capitalise on that sixth grid position with a tenth-place finish in the race at the Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez. Despite being dissatisfied with the strategy, he admitted that it is good to be in the fight and score any points possible, with two championship rounds left on the F1 calendar.
"It was going pretty well until the second stint. The gap to pit was a bit bigger than we thought, but on the second stint, the hard tyre, I just couldn't get it to work. So could never get it into the right temperature, it was s bit of a struggle, but at least we got a point."
When asked when was the moment he started to regret the tyre choice of the white Pirellis when at the start he was claiming it would be the perfect choice for his challenger, the Finn said: "Just couldn't get enough temperature. Never got to the operating window. We thought it would be great on the race start but just it wasn't today."
Head of Trackside Engineering Xevi Pujolar commented on the Finn's strategy and assured that, if the race was to happen again, at Alf Romeo they would have made different choices.
"We were quite confident with the medium tyre. And that went well. We wanted to extend to the point that we could fit potentially the soft, but then we were losing ground to the guys behind, and we could see some of the competitors were going to the hards.
"We had some confidence with the hards as well, and then, with the car that we had, we were also confident that we could be ahead of Ocon. Everything would have been okay but we lost a bit of time in the pit stop, and I think while getting out, we were a bit too close to Ocon and, that exposed us straight away after the pit stop going into the blue flags. That has been a bit of a limitation."
"The low-speed corners we have been generally strong. I think he [Valtteri] was very strong getting the best out of the compound. And also for the altitude, we had everything together to get out an advantage.
"What we are sure is that, with the medium, everything was working as expected. If you see Valtteri's race, and what happened to him, he was strong with the temperature management, the tyres... But if we were to race again, probably I'd give him the soft, with the blue flags we could have recovered because he had shortened the stint," he concluded.