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Bottas in Monaco

Bottas explains ‘significant floor damage’ as reason for 19th place in Barcelona

The Finnish driver already had a feeling that something was wrong with the car after qualifying

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Valtteri Bottas qualified 16th for the Spanish Grand Prix on Saturday. He finished the race in 19th place – and the reason seems to have been damage to the car.

Bottas in Spain
Valtteri Bottas of Finland driving the (77) Alfa Romeo F1 C43 Ferrari spins during qualifying ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Spain at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya on June 03, 2023 in Barcelona, Spain. (Image Credit: Dan Mullan – Formula 1/Formula 1 via Getty Images)

The race in Spain was the 15th Grand Prix in history in which all 20 cars saw the chequered flag. Bottas finished just ahead of Logan Sargeant and looked disappointed.

Problems with Bottas’ car since qualifying

The Finnish driver struggled to keep up with the pace of the rest of the field. His teammate, Guanyu Zhou, also managed to score two points for Alfa Romeo in ninth place. Bottas suspected something was wrong with his C43 immediately after the race, according to

“For me, it’s pretty clear there was something not right with the car, because I was more than one second per lap off, just sliding around,” Bottas said.

“Whether it was a mechanical or aero issue I cannot say, because the balance was not, like, way off, but there was just a lack of overall grip.

“So, we’ll see if there’s something damaged in the car.”

At that point, however, it was not sure what had caused these problems with Bottas’ car – let alone whether it was damage to the C43 at all.

The resolution of the problem

But a short time later, he announced via Twitter that it was indeed floor damage. According to Bottas’ statement to Sauber, it was due to debris he had caught at the start of the race.

“First of all, congratulations to Zhou and the team for getting points; he showed good pace, and that’s encouraging for the next races, as proof of the hard work put in by the team back home in Hinwil and here at the track.

“From my side, we found damage to the floor, probably from some debris picked up at the start of the race, and that cost us quite a big chunk of performance: as a result, I just lacked pace altogether today, I wasn’t able to put up a fight with anybody and it was quite a long race for me.

“I know we can put this race behind us and quickly come back on the right track before heading to Montreal in two weeks. The circuit will be once again completely different, and hopefully it’ll suit our car. We had a decent race in Montreal last year, scoring a very good result for the team: hopefully, we’ll be able to replicate that, and keep this streak running.”

Nevertheless, Bottas was happy for his teammate and Alfa Romeo – whether they can score points again in Montreal remains to be seen.

Feature Image Credit: Jakub Porzycki/NurPhoto via Getty Images

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