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Bottas left to rue "pretty costly" debut day with Alfa Romeo

Bottas left to rue "pretty costly" debut day with Alfa Romeo

F1 News

Bottas left to rue "pretty costly" debut day with Alfa Romeo

Bottas left to rue "pretty costly" debut day with Alfa Romeo

Valtteri Bottas was left to lament a wretched debut day with Alfa Romeo as the Finn completed just 23 laps in the troublesome C42.

The situation was worse for reserve driver Robert Kubica who was behind the wheel for the opening four-hour session but the Pole managed a measly nine laps and sat bottom of the 16-driver timesheet over six seconds off the pace.

Alfa Romeo is hoping a new car built to the radically altered aerodynamic regulations will propel it up into the midfield at least.

But while the overwhelming majority of teams enjoyed a fruitful, trouble-free day, Bottas, Kubica and Alfa Romeo on the whole were left frustrated.

"It's always great to get behind the wheel after a break, especially with a new team and a new generation of cars, and I enjoyed the few laps I had," said Bottas.

"But we did have some issues and unfortunately the issues we had were pretty costly with time - some issues with reliability, some mechanical.

"We understand it and we know how to fix it, we just didn't have enough time during the day to fix it properly.

"So today was compromised, we lacked quite a bit of mileage but at least we got some running and we got some kind of idea on how to progress tomorrow.

"I just hope now we get two good days in."

Kubica - "Impossible" to get Alfa Romeo read

Kubica, whose heavy sponsorship support allowed him to get what was planned to be half a day in the car ahead of rookie Guanyu Zhou, was naturally far from happy with his lack of progress.

“When you are not doing a lot of laps it means you have had some issues [and] we did suffer a few issues I would say," said Kubica.

"The guys did a good job to solve one of them but then when we started doing a few more laps, we discovered another issue which I heard already on the installation in the workshop but we thought it was solved. As it looks, it is not solved.

“We lost half a day unfortunately and it is a big shame because I did just two laps, even without proper pace. I got some appetiser and I wanted a bit more but that is racing.”

Asked when he would get another chance to drive, Kubica added: "I think it will be long until I have an opportunity to drive again. That is a shame but that is how it is."

Despite his limited running, Bottas felt there was not a massive difference between the new breed of cars and those from his recent time with Mercedes.

"It feels a bit bigger, a bit heavier because it is," added Bottas. "Apart from that, it's not like night and day.

"You have to adjust a bit your driving but there's still much more learning to do."

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