Bottas: Alfa Romeo’s Barcelona F1 test struggles behind us

Valtteri Bottas thinks Alfa Romeo has put its Barcelona struggles firmly behind it, after an encouraging opening day of running at the Bahrain Formula 1 test on Thursday.

Bottas: Alfa Romeo’s Barcelona F1 test struggles behind us

The Swiss outfit endured a difficult time in the first pre-season F1 test as its car was hampered by excessive porpoising that could not be fixed on location in Spain.

But after extensive work back at its factory, Alfa Romeo made improvements to its car and set-up that allowed it to complete a full day of running for Bottas and team-mate Guanyu Zhou in Bahrain.

With both drivers completing a total of 120 laps, and Bottas ending up seventh overall on the timesheets, he said that Alfa Romeo was in a completely different situation to where it was in Spain.

“All the issues we had in Barcelona seems like they are now behind us,” explained Bottas. “So that's positive. To be able to do that in one week, and for the team to be able to do that in one week, it was crucial actually that we got those laps.

“We finally managed to do some set-up work, and actually finding out how the car responds and what it needs and how it behaves. And it was nice to feel and to see the progress throughout the day.”

Bottas said Alfa Romeo had not only stopped the porpoising problem from affecting it, but had eradicated the issue completely.

Valtteri Bottas, Alfa Romeo C42

Valtteri Bottas, Alfa Romeo C42

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

“Today, we had no issues,” he said “I'm pretty sure the whole grid is probably running the cars with a compromised set-up.

“But we are in a place now where it's not an issue at all for comfort or for reliability. So that was quite positive.”

Bottas admitted to a sense of relief for the entire team about how the Bahrain test day had gone, having known how far behind it was after Barcelona.

“You always aim to fix all the issues, but you only see really when you get on track,” he said.

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“It's a different track as well. There's different kinds of bumps here, and it's higher speeds in some of the straights. So it is good to see that there's no issues.

“I could see some nervous people in the morning hoping that everything goes smoothly, and now I can see some happy faces.”

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