Valtteri Bottas hopes Alfa Romeo’s disappointing run-out at Paul Ricard was a “one-off dip” as the team brings upgrades for the Hungarian Grand Prix.
Alfa Romeo ended point-less for the third consecutive race in France with Bottas finishing P14 while his team-mate Zhou Guanyu was forced to retire due to a technical issue.
Having shown pace at the start of the season, the team have found themselves slipping further and further down the grid as those around them brought upgrades to the car, something Alfa have not.
However Bottas has revealed some are on their way for this weekend having pinpointed the lack of upgrades as the cause of their recent downfall.
He said he hoped the performance last weekend was just a “one-off dip.”
“I really hope [the] French Grand Prix was just a one-off dip in the performance,” he told reporters during the press conference ahead of the Hungarian Grand Prix.
“In qualifying and in the race, [we] didn’t have the base that we were hoping and expecting.
“I think the core reason is not having much upgrades actually. Nothing since Barcelona.
“The teams around us [have] been able to develop a bit more, we finally have something here [in Hungary] so I really hope that gives us a bit of a boost.”
Having scored points in all but one of the opening seven races, Bottas has now gone through a run of just one points-scoring race in the last five grands prix.
The Finn was one of many drivers to praise the retiring Sebastian Vettel and said he could always rely on the German to provide a hard but fair battle on the grid.
“[He was] always a really good driver to race against and race with,” Bottas said. “With him there’s always [a] certain respect and you can kind of count on him that he’s gonna race hard but usually fair.
“So I really enjoyed the battles and overall as well, he’s just such a nice guy to get to know and one of those drivers that is not afraid of speaking up about things, which is really, really cool. He’s really using that platform as well for for the right thing. So my respect.”
Bottas was also quizzed on whether he had an eye on the now vacant Aston Martin seat for next season but joked that for the first time in a while, he could safely say he had a contract for next season.
“Never believed I can say I have a contract so I’m good,” he remarked.
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