Bottas says reliability fixes the ‘#1 precedence’ for Alfa Romeo – and divulges one other key weak point group will deal with at French GP

Alfa Romeo’s Valtteri Bottas has stated that getting on high of reliability points is his group’s “primary precedence” presently – with the Finn additionally revealing his hopes {that a} new clutch system will assist enhance his getaways, beginning at this weekend’s French Grand Prix at Paul Ricard.

Reliability issues have been a recurring frustration for Alfa Romeo all through 2022, most lately cropping up within the Dash in Austria, the place Bottas was pressured to drive round a “slight engine subject” – whereas group mate Zhou Guanyu’s automotive minimize out on the best way to the grid.

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However whereas he didn’t but have “100% confidence” within the fixes his group had made, Bottas appeared optimistic in regards to the work occurring in Alfa Romeo’s Hinwil manufacturing unit in Switzerland.

“We’re making progress for certain,” he replied, when requested about reliability on Thursday at Paul Ricard. “I feel we’re on high of many issues a lot better than we have been to start with of the season.

Bottas has needed to take care of his fair proportion of reliability points in 2022

“We nonetheless haven’t got 100% confidence as a result of we have had so many points, however for a very long time, it has been the primary precedence within the post-race conferences: the reliability and attacking and figuring out points earlier than they occur.

“So we’re doing the whole lot we are able to with the sources. After which additionally we have been working as a group with Ferrari actually intently, as a result of additionally there’s been points that aren’t associated to Sauber as such; there have been points that generally have been from [power unit supplier] Ferrari, so it has been each side actually.”

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Bottas went on to elucidate that a type of points had been clutch-related – with Ferrari having introduced a repair to France for this weekend.

“[The race starts have] been fairly a giant compromise,” stated Bottas. “We are likely to lose positions on common within the begin and that is not nice as a result of the midfield is so tight that when you drop behind any individual and also you’re caught for, like, 20 laps, it would not make your life any simpler.

Bottas stated a few of Alfa Romeo’s points had come from their Ferrari energy items and related {hardware}

“We’ve got a brand new clutch right here,” Bottas added. “We’ll attempt it in observe for the primary time, however it’s one thing that Ferrari has been engaged on for fairly a while and now lastly we now have some new bits for the clutch that ought to forestall oscillations we’re having.

“The principle weak point has been on the oscillation, particularly tracks with low grip when you’ll be able to’t go fairly as deep with the clutch, when you must slip the clutch extra and there is extra oscillations. After which it [has] inconsistency in the way it bites and the way you get the getaway.

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“On tracks with extra grip, it has been much less of a problem, as a result of you’ll be able to go a bit deeper with the clutch after which there’s much less oscillation for some cause.

“And in addition to start with of the yr, we have been positively missing a bit bit on the {hardware} aspect of issues, as a result of the clutch paddle’s form, the whole lot was fairly completely different to what I used to be used to at Mercedes, so we needed to work fairly a bit on that. However now the consistency by way of the {hardware} is getting there.”

In the meantime, Bottas additionally revealed that Alfa Romeo are focusing on bringing their first huge improve since Barcelona to the Hungaroring subsequent weekend, because the group look to climb larger than their present P6 within the constructors’ standings.

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