The Italian Alfa Romeo team left France empty handed on a difficult Sunday race, where Valtteri Bottas finished 14th and Zhou was forced to retire due to a technical issue. Based on the team’s Head of trackside engineers Xevi Pujolar, the aim is to bounce back immediately at the Hungaroring, the last race before the summer break.
At the end of the GP, the Fin Valtteri Bottas claimed an investigation seems necessary to understand the issues in his Alfa Romeo at at the start of the French race.
Bottas suffered severe wheelspin at the start and dropped several positions back to 17th in only two laps. From then on, a points finish looked unlikely, and the timing of the Safety Car forced him onto a two-stop strategy, meaning the best he could do was 14th at the chequered flag.
To this we shall add that both Bottas and his teammate Zhou struggled with clutch and anti-stall issues throughout the whole weekend. Bottas, however, said his race-start was not clutch-related.
"It felt like it's not a clutch issue, just wheelspin at the start, so [we] need to investigate why," Bottas told media including Motorlat.
Bottas also lamented his lack of pace that prevented him from making any significant progress in the race: "The pace wasn't as good as expected," he commented.
"It was a bit better at the end with the Medium [compound tyre], but not great."
The team’s Head of Engineers Pujolar generally agreed with Bottas’ opinions and claimed it is necessary to understand what went wrong in the French GP. Yet, he believes the team has some chances to do better this weekend in Hungary.
“The track has different characteristics, we’ll have different wing levels and depending on which wing level we opt for, we might be stronger in straight line speed or in the corners. That’s up to us”
“Budapest has a completely different track layout compared to the Paul Ricard, we’ll see if we can already bring some updates and see where we stand compared to the other teams,” said Pujolar.
As far as development are concerned, considering the budget cap, Pujolar claimed that “developments are still to come even after the summer break”.