Bottas makes Haas the next target for Alfa Romeo

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Bottas makes Haas the next target for Alfa Romeo

Formula 1

Bottas makes Haas the next target for Alfa Romeo

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Valtteri Bottas says Haas needs to be the next target for Alfa Romeo after his impressive run to sixth place at the Bahrain Grand Prix.

In his first race since leaving Mercedes for Alfa Romeo, Bottas was quick in qualifying and secured sixth on the grid alongside former teammate Lewis Hamilton. He dropped a long way back at the start of the race due to a clutch issue, but climbed back into sixth by the end, one place behind Kevin Magnussen in the Haas.

“If someone had told us beforehand we’d be P6 either in qualifying and the race, we would have taken it,” Bottas said. “And, actually, having both cars in the top ten is a lot better than the team has been used to in the last few years. I feel like for us the next target is beating Haas, they have a strong car but, still, Mercedes, Red Bull and Ferrari they’re a bit further away, but at least we’re almost there for best of the rest, at the moment, so it’s not a bad starting point.

“I think it’s Haas (with the advantage), at the moment. I think if Kevin didn’t have that issue in qualifying then I think I could not have matched his lap time, based on his Q2 time. And in the race, I think they were pretty strong.”

The only negative point for Bottas was the opening lap when he plummeted outside of the top 10 and had to fight his way back through the field, and the Finn admits it’s a problem that could be repeated in the early races of the season.

“I just had massive wheelspin and cooked the rear tires, as the wheels were still spinning in third gear! So, for the rest of the first lap I was still sliding around quite a lot and being a sort of sitting duck.

“It’s a mechanical (issue), sometimes we have this vibration in the clutch, it happened 50 per cent of the time, and when it happens it’s quite easy to brake traction, so it’s on our job list and we’re working on it.”

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