Formula 1 | Bottas in distress at the start, new Ferrari V6 failure for Zhou

The Alfa Romeos had a bad time at Paul Ricard on Sunday. Valtteri Bottas, in first place, the best hope for points, had a near-catastrophic start… and this despite the fact that Ferrari’s new clutch meant more performance at this point. He then struggled in the peloton, finishing only 14th.

“It was a very long race and I felt that I had sweated a lot for nothing! Of course, you can learn something from every race, and that’s what we have to take away from this weekend. We lost a lot of places at the start and that made it very difficult for us: our race pace was not as good as expected, although the car has improved a lot on medium tyres. »

“Hopefully some updates we get in Budapest will help us, we know the team is working really hard. To keep fighting with the cars ahead of us in the constructors’ championship, we need to find some extra performance in the car, but I’m sure we can do it as a team.”

Starting from the back of the grid, Guanyu Zhou may have had a chance to come back, but it was once again the reliability of Ferrari’s power unit that doomed the Chinese to retirement at the end of the Grand Prix. He was also penalized 5 seconds for a collision with Mick Schumacher’s Haas.

“About 10-15 laps from the end I suffered a problem with the power unit; I tried to make a few changes, but it eventually ended my career. It was a technical issue, and we will investigate the issue before Budapest to prevent it from happening again. »

“Other than that, the race never really went our way, we battled the whole race. As for the contact with Mick, I was defending my inside on lap 11, he was trying to get around the outside but he got to a point where the corner got too tight for me. I think it’s hard to judge for both of them because it compromised my career. Unfortunately that happens in racing, we just have to move on. It was definitely not a day for remember for us, but having another race next weekend means a new weekend of opportunities to be competitive again and put ourselves in our place. »

Frédéric Vasseur, the team manager, experienced a Grand Prix at home that was completely forgettable for him, except perhaps for some beautiful photos of the Sainte-Baume massif.

“Before the race we were confident that we could turn some decent grid positions into points, but unfortunately that was not the case this afternoon. Valtteri struggled at the start. We ended up with two cars at the back of the field at the end of the first lap and it was always going to be tough to get back into the top 10 from there. We had a good pace – Zhou showed it when he was running in the clean air – but it wasn’t enough to catch up today. »

“In the end, we took one car out of the points again and had to retire with the other car due to a power unit problem – certainly not the result we were hoping for, but at least we’ll have a chance to bounce back. immediately back to Hungary. Today we will analyze and understand what happened, especially as we expect similar weather conditions next weekend. »

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