Valtteri Bottas has explained the “defensive” strategy he employed in the season finale at Abu Dhabi to prevent Aston Martin from eclipsing Alfa Romeo in the battle for sixth in the championship.
Alfa Romeo and Aston Martin ended the season level on points, but Alfa Romeo took the P6 championship position as, out of both teams’ four drivers, Bottas took the best result of the season with P5 at Imola.
In his 200th F1 start, the Finnish driver finished 15th in Abu Dhabi but explained that he adopted a one-stop strategy to temporarily stay ahead of – and slow down – the two-stopping Aston Martins, with Lance Stroll eventually finishing eighth and Sebastian Vettel 10th to put the two teams level on points in the standings.
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“I think that’s all [that] mattered today was to get the P6, so I think that’s why my strategy was also quite defensive, so I tried to go long and play with the green cars when they came through,” said Bottas. “It was nerve-wracking at the end because we finished on equal points to them and only got them because we had one better result.”
Bottas’s team mate Zhou Guanyu employed the same strategy to slow down the Aston Martins and he finished 12th in the season finale.
After securing sixth in the championship, which Alfa Romeo last achieved in 1983 and Sauber last achieved in 2012, Bottas, who joined the team this year, added: “[It’s been] enjoyable and really constructive. I think the team spirit has been growing throughout the whole year. I’m expecting a lot from the future, so, it’s been good fun.”
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Team Principal Fred Vasseur was elated after Abu Dhabi, and said: “Tonight is the crowning of an incredible job by everyone in the team, both trackside and in Hinwil.
“Finishing in P6 in the championship surpasses our expectations and the targets we had set at the beginning of the season, so we can thoroughly say that this season was a success: I am proud of what we have achieved, but this is just another starting point on which we want to build.”
- Valtteri Bottas explains how his strategy in Abu Dhabi foiled Aston Martin attack on Alfa Romeo’s P6
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