until Abu Dhabi Autonomous Racing League

Formula 1

The first losers in F1 2022’s pre-season battle

by Josh Suttill
3 min read

Aramco Web Black Text V2

Alfa Romeo’s new Formula 1 signing Valtteri Bottas admits his team had a “compromised” first day of pre-season testing in Barcelona, while fellow Ferrari customer Haas didn’t fare much better.

Bottas took over from reserve driver Robert Kubica after the mid-day break, but the pair would combine for just 32 laps in the camouflage-liveried Alfa Romeo C42.

It was the lowest tally recorded during the day and was only just over a fifth of what the day’s most prolific team in terms of mileage – its supplier Ferrari – managed.

“We did have a few issues and, unfortunately, the issues we had were quite costly in terms of time,” said Bottas, who logged 23 laps to Kubica’s nine.

“Some issues were from reliability, some issues were with mechanical things, but, luckily, we understand them completely and we know how to fix it.

“We just didn’t have enough time during the day to fix the problem.

Motor Racing Formula One Testing Test One Day 1 Barcelona, Spain

“For sure today was compromised, we lacked quite a bit of mileage but at least we got some running and got some kind of idea how to progress for tomorrow. Now I just hope we can two good days in Barcelona, after this.”

Bottas will also drive the car in the Thursday morning session and the Friday afternoon session, with rookie Guanyu Zhou splitting driving duties with the Finn on each of the days.

Bottas said he “enjoyed the few laps I could have today”.

Asked about how the new generation of F1 cars feels to drive, he said: “Naturally they’re a bit heavier, a bit bigger, but apart from that it’s not like night and day. For sure you need to adjust your driving and there’s still much more learning to do.”

Fellow Ferrari engine customer Haas was the only team even remotely in Alfa Romeo’s wheelhouse in terms of mileage, as its two drivers combined for 43 laps.

Nikita Mazepin’s morning running was limited by a cooling leak, while Mick Schumacher got just three laps more than his Russian team-mate due to floor damage.

“Nothing to be concerned about – the smile isn’t as big as it could be as we would’ve liked a three-digit number on the board – but those things happen,” said Schumacher.

Motor Racing Formula One Testing Test One Day 1 Barcelona, Spain

Team boss Guenther Steiner described it as “one of those days where a few small issues end up costing you considerable time”.

“There’s not necessarily a lot to take from today other than hopefully that’s some of our issues over and done with,” he said. “All being well tomorrow we’ll have greater reliability and we can get into a more thorough run-plan for both Mick and Nikita.”

Feb 23 : Testing Day 1: First impressions of F1’s new breed
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Email
  • More Networks