Bottas – Slow upgrade production a ‘weakness’ of Alfa Romeo

In the round-up: Valtteri Bottas says that development speed is “one of the weaknesses” of his Alfa Romeo team

In brief

Bottas – Slow upgrade production a ‘weakness’ of Alfa Romeo

Valtteri Bottas says that improving how quickly Alfa Romeo produce upgrades for their car is a “high priority” for the team.

Alfa Romeo currently sixth in the constructors’ championship on 52 points, but have only scored a single point in the last eight races after scoring 51 over the first nine. Bottas admits the team have been unable to maintain the development pace of some of their fellow midfield teams.

“I think the rivals – like for example, McLaren and Alpine – they have made more development than us and they’ve had more constant upgrades than us,” said Bottas. “We still have some things to come, I think it’s probably maybe Austin or Japan, some things, but I guess that’s going to be more or less it.

“I think we were one of the very few teams in the beginning of the year who were at the weight limits. I think many teams were overweight, but as they’ve come down now, so maybe that has made an effect as well. We know one of our weaknesses is the production speed, which is a high priority for the team for the future. We’re definitely aware of that.”

No grid expansions for Formula 2, F3 – Michel

Formula 2 and FIA F3 CEO Bruno Michel says he does not believe either series will look at increasing their grid sizes beyond their current level.

Formula 2 currently has 22 cars on its grid, while the FIA Formula 3 championship races with 30 cars in each of its rounds. Asked if he would be open to adding more teams to the series should Andretti seek to set up junior teams, Michel said sees no need to expand the grids further.

“I don’t think it would be good for the championships to add new teams,” Michel said. “There are always changes of teams, teams that want to stop, and in that case we can find new shareholders for the teams. It happened many times in the past, with GP2 and F2 and it will continue.

“I think 30 cars in F3 and 22 cars in F2 is a very good figure. I’ve got many requests of teams that would like to join both F2 and F3, but I’m always saying the same thing. We need always to be sure that we have more drivers than seats, because if we have less drivers than the seats, then the teams are in trouble. I think having 30 cars in F3 is already a fantastic achievement and I don’t want to increase that at all. And 22 cars in F2, we had in the past 26 cars, then we went down to 20 cars and now I think 22 cars is a very good number and I’m not planning to adopt a new team.”

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Comment of the day

With so much discussion over Colton Herta’s eligibility to race in Formula 1, is he truly worthy of an opportunity? Yes, says ShadowDraig…

Having watched IndyCar for the first time this year I get why they want Herta and I probably wouldn’t have done had I not watched it. First thing to say is that Indycar is often called a spec series but it’s not really – it’s a sort of half spec series. It still matters what car you’re in and Herta’s team Andretti have not given him a car worthy of fighting for championships.

Secondly IndyCar is a lot more ‘random’ than F1. For example the Indy 500 (a race more to do with luck than anything else) was won by Ericsson which put him in with a serious chance of the title this year as it awards double points. Also there’s a lot of variation on whether a car suits a track – sometimes Herta’s Andretti team turned up with a car capable of winning and others it would be impressive to get 12th place. So consequently his position in the championship doesn’t tell the whole story.

What is obvious if you’ve watched the races is that he has talent – on occasions he was able to outclass the entire field (notably the Indy road course). He does however make a lot of mistakes – he looks like he’d be a Montoya/2016 Verstappen at first in F1 but I guarantee he’d be exciting. In time I think he’d develop into a very high level driver.

I think the FIA has tied themselves in a knot with this. Their super license system should not prevent somebody that’s competed at the top of Indycar for multiple years from competing in F1 but to change the rules specifically for Herta would have made a mockery of them – despite their own desire for an American driver.
ShadowDraig

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Ukk, Texagf1, Kerbbi and Nzumbu!

On this day in motorsport

Giancarlo Minardi, Imola, 2021
Giancarlo Minardi, Imola, 2021
  • Born today in 1947: Gian Carlo Minardi, founder of the team which raced in F1 from 1985 to 2005, was bought by Red Bull and is now AlphaTauri

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