Bottas concerned about grid penalties after ‘difficult race’ ended in flames at Zandvoort

Valtteri Bottas had already scored an unwanted stat at Zandvoort on Saturday when his career came to an early end thanks to an issue that could also have a long-term impact.

The Finn saw a run of 148 consecutive races without a Q1 elimination come to an end at Spa-Francorchamps last weekend, and that was followed by back-to-back failures to advance when he retired at the first hurdle in qualifying in the Countries. Low.

At least he followed that up with a more competitive run in the race until he stopped on the inside of the pit straight with just over 15 laps remaining, ending his hopes of regaining the points.

“It was a tough race, but at least the pace seemed a bit better than [qualifying]Bottas said. “We could struggle in the midfield, so it was a bit unfortunate that I started to lose power going into the starting line, I heard the noises, I saw the flames and I had to turn off the engine. That is all.

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“We definitely had better pace than in qualifying, which is good. I think it would still have been a challenge to get into the points, but we were definitely fighting to get there.

Dutch Grand Prix 2022: Bottas stops on the main straight and activates the Safety Car at Zandvoort

“Absolutely, it was one of the most difficult weekends of the season, there was a lack of rhythm in qualifying. As I said, at least in the race it was promising, but it was still a difficult weekend for the team.

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In addition to retirement, Bottas could see an impact later in the season as he worries his power unit may not be salvageable given his view of the problem.

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“We had a technical problem, probably with the engine, but I don’t have confirmation of that yet. It didn’t sound good, so let’s see. But most likely this motor is gone.

“I was feeling good up to that point and all of a sudden at the beginning of the straight I started losing power, I heard some weird noises, I could see some flames in the mirror, so that was it…”

Zhou at least saw the checkered flag at Zandvoort, but was out of the points

The other Alfa Romeo of Zhou Guanyu at least saw the end of the race, but the Chinese driver was limited to 15th at the flag as he endured a weekend that was largely the opposite of Bottas’ in terms of competitiveness.

“To be honest, it was quite difficult, particularly at the end of the race because we were surprised by a lot of blue flags and then with the late Safety Car we didn’t have many tires left,” said Zhou. “We had to put on an old soft, which since the last time we tried to climb, but Zandvoort is not like Spa, for example.

“So it was quite a tough weekend for the whole team, so we will have to work hard and try to improve on that for the next Monza.

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“In qualifying, I think we tried to give everything we got and it was good to close the gap a bit, because we started quite a bit behind in the morning in FP3 and it was difficult to catch up with the rest. Clearly there have been some races where we have been struggling, and we have to keep working and try to get the car back to where we were at the beginning of the season.”

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