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Alfa Romeo gambles fail to pay off in Singapore: Valtteri Bottas said the Singapore Grand Prix “really wasn’t our day” after Alfa Romeo’s strategy gambles failed to produce the desired results. Starting from P8, Bottas had hoped to capitalize on the street circuit and chaotic conditions to score big points, but ultimately finished a disappointing P11.
“We tried to do something different with the strategy today to create opportunities, but it just didn’t work out for us,” Bottas said after the race. “It’s disappointing, because we had the pace in the car to finish much higher up.”
Alfa Romeo rolled the dice on an alternative strategy right from the start, fitting Bottas with the hard compound tires while most of the other front runners started on mediums. The goal was to go long into the race before switching to the faster rubber. However, the hard tires did not deliver the durability the team had hoped for.
Strategy Gamble Backfires:
Bottas began to struggle with grip after just a handful of laps, causing him to lock up and flat-spot his tires as early as lap 5. “The hard tire just didn’t work at all, we had massive graining straight away,” he explained. “So we had to pit again quite early to switch compounds. That ruined our strategy.”
After pitting on lap 14 to replace the destroyed hard tires, Bottas found himself mired in traffic, unable to make up ground on the one-stoppers ahead. To make matters worse for Bottas, an ill-timed safety car negated any advantage he may have gained from stopping twice. “The safety car came out just as I was pitting for the second time, which was really unlucky,” Bottas said. “It basically gave everyone in front a free pit stop.”
Ill-Timed Safety Car Compounds Issues:
With track position critical in Singapore, Bottas was unable to find a way past the likes of Stroll, Ricciardo and Ocon in the second half of the race. He crossed the line in P11, salvaging just one point. The Finn conceded Alfa Romeo’s strategic gamble “just didn’t pay off today,” but took solace in the fact that the car’s underlying pace seemed strong in Singapore. “We had good speed, especially on the soft tire at the end. It’s just a shame we couldn’t use it further up the field where it mattered,” Bottas added.
With fellow Alfa driver Zhou Guanyu retiring early from the race, it was a disappointing Sunday for the Hinwil squad. But Bottas remains confident they can bounce back strongly at the next round in Japan. “Suzuka should be better for us, I think we can have a really good weekend there,” he said. “We’ll learn from this one, and come back fighting.”
Lacked Race Pace to Recover:
The Singapore struggles end Alfa’s run of four consecutive double points finishes. But the team still holds a comfortable P6 in the constructors’ championship with six races remaining in 2022. Despite a trying Singapore Grand Prix, Valtteri Bottas and Alfa Romeo remain in good shape to achieve their season goals. The team has proven race-winning pace and just needs clean weekends to convert that into big points.
Bottas continues to impress in his first season with the squad, and will be targeting a strong result at one of his preferred circuits in Japan. With a healthy lead over nearest rivals Aston Martin, Alfa can approach the final six races with confidence. The Finn’s wealth of experience and technical feedback will be crucial in guiding Alfa Romeo to an improved weekend in Suzuka.
Hopeful of Better Result in Suzuka:
Having won the Japanese Grand Prix in 2017 with Mercedes, Bottas knows what it takes to succeed at the fast, flowing circuit. The smooth track surface should play to the strengths of the Alfa Romeo C42 chassis, allowing Bottas to maximize cornering speeds. Strategically too, Suzuka presents more straightforward options compared to Singapore’s atypical street layout.
With overtaking difficult, Saturday qualifying will be key to unlocking a strong result. Bottas has racked up four Q3 appearances in the last five races, underlining his single-lap pace. If he can translate that speed into an optimal grid slot, the ingredients are there for a revival. History also favors the Finnish veteran, who has finished on the podium in Japan on three previous occasions.
After the disappointment of Singapore, Valtteri Bottas has ample motivation to hit back at a track where he has excelled before. With his experience and Alfa Romeo’s proven race pace, he will be aiming to recapture the top 10 form shown earlier in the season.
The Singapore Grand Prix proved a weekend to forget for Valtteri Bottas and Alfa Romeo, as an alternative strategy gamble backfired spectacularly. Starting on the hard tire compromised Bottas’ race from the outset, with excessive degradation forcing an early stop. An ill-timed safety car erased any hope of salvaging the situation.
It was a missed opportunity, as the team’s strong underlying pace showed they were capable of fighting at the front. But Bottas remains upbeat heading to one of his favorite circuits in Japan. Strong qualifying will be key to unlocking Alfa Romeo’s potential.
The team still holds a healthy lead in the constructors’ battle and can take comfort from the pace shown even in Singapore. With cleaner weekends, big points hauls are achievable. Bottas has the experience and motivation to bounce back; expect the Finn to come out firing in Suzuka.
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