Distracted Bottas explains reason for Miami F1 wall brush

by 24britishtvMay 9, 2022, 1 p.m. 11
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Alfa Romeo driver Bottas ran fifth for the majority of the inaugural race around the new Hard Rock Stadium track but says “everything changed” when the safety car was called to retrieve the stranded McLaren of Lando Norris after his clash with AlphaTauri’s Pierre Gasly.

That not only allowed the Mercedes cars behind him to close up while George Russell was able to make a ‘free’ pitstop and switched to new medium tyres.

As the Mercedes duo battled behind him, Bottas admitted he was distracted and missed his braking point for the Turn 17 hairpin with seven laps to go. He clipped the wall, losing two spots, but recovered to finish in seventh.

“Everything was going really smoothly, I was hoping for that kind of race, until the safety car,” he rued afterwards.

“But then George had the possibility to stop for fresh mediums and he was really closing in quickly.

“As he was overtaking Lewis, I was kind of following them in the mirrors, because they were getting pretty close and I was thinking I might have to close the door or something, and I just braked a fraction too late.

“I missed the apex just a tiny bit, and then I got onto the dirty tarmac and, even though I was going slowly, I understeered into the wall. Luckily it didn’t break anything or give me a puncture.”

When asked if he could have held Hamilton at bay to finish fifth without the safety car, he replied: “I don’t see why not. When George got the fresh tyres, then it changed everything, so [it was] a bit unlucky for me that safety car but that’s how it is.”

Despite this late disappointment, Bottas said he was encouraged by his C42’s pace and consistency – especially in light of his heavy crash in Free Practice 1 on Friday.

“It was a good recovery from Friday,” he said, “And the race pace was very close to Mercedes so it is good to see that we can really fight with them.

“It’s a shame we didn’t get P5 but, still, P7 is good.”

Bottas, who is eighth in points after four points finishes from five starts, also said this was a race that demonstrated a shift in Alfa’s mentality to compete at the head of the midfield pack.

He added: “It was a race where there was no DNFs in front of me. It was fighting for fifth position with this car here, and then we’ll see in Barcelona, where we’ll try to bring some new bits.”

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