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Sauber F1 crew’s response time a serious weak point, says Bottas

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Bottas left Mercedes to hitch the Sauber-run Alfa Romeo crew (now renamed Stake) for the return of floor impact in 2022.

He loved a powerful begin to the marketing campaign, scoring factors in seven of the opening 9 grands prix, because the Swiss squad pipped rivals by hitting the brand new 798kg minimal automotive weight restrict out of the field. 

However the crew and driver fell again thereafter by shedding out within the growth race, with Alfa ending the season in sixth earlier than falling to ninth (solely forward of Haas) in 2023.

This got here regardless of the gradual takeover from Audi, which has enabled the crew to lastly spend as much as the funds cap. 

Forward of Audi formally returning to the grid in 2026, Bottas says the crew should velocity up its response time when figuring out areas to enhance within the wind tunnel.  

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Talking completely to Autosport, the Finn mentioned: “For us in the intervening time, the best way we are able to flip round upgrades [is a key area that needs to be addressed]. 

“In the meanwhile, we discover one thing within the wind tunnel, how lengthy it takes to really get it within the automotive… That is, I’d say, one fairly large factor in comparison with another issues.” 

Picture by: Alfa Romeo

Valtteri Bottas, Alfa Romeo C43

The crew has employed ex-McLaren technical chief James Key. Assembly for dinner for the primary time, Bottas relayed to Key that chassis stability and aerodynamic traits additionally wanted bettering. 

Bottas continued: “Mechanically, just a few issues right here and there by way of stability instruments, however then additionally aero facet [need work].  

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“[Key]’s seen all of the numbers and the aero behaviour of the automotive, the yaw and roll. He is acquired recent in his thoughts how the McLaren [aero] maps appear to be. So, he is seen some issues that he undoubtedly agrees that there is room for enchancment. 

“After all, the thoughts of a man who’s been in that sort of position begins to roll and plenty of concepts are coming. I like him as an individual.  

“He appears actually motivated to ship and I believe he clearly needs to do effectively.” 

After a five-year stint at eight-time constructors’ champion Mercedes, which yielded 10 GP wins, Bottas says there was a noticeable drop-off by way of amenities upon arriving on the Hinwil-based outfit.  

He continued: “Some equipment is a bit outdated. However I believe the crew is all sorted in the intervening time making an attempt to make it possible for we do not have a deficit on that facet. However I might discover a distinction.  

“The nice factor is the wind tunnel is excellent. The quantity of ovens the place you are curing the carbon and stuff like that. After which additionally human energy – manner much less folks truly laminating stuff.”

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