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Bottas admits Alfa Romeo’s race day slump in Miami ‘reflects our true pace’

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Valtteri Bottas and Zhou Guanyu were left eagerly awaiting Alfa Romeo’s planned car updates at the next round of the season in Imola after experiencing an up-and-down Miami Grand Prix weekend.

It was a tale of two halves for the Swiss operation amid the South Florida sunshine as while Saturday yielded the high of a Q3 result for Bottas, race day brought the low of non-points finishes for both drivers.

READ MORE: 5 Winners and 5 Losers from the Miami Grand Prix – Who was on fire in Florida?

Bottas ultimately crossed the line in 13th, having qualified 10th, while Zhou dropped from 14th on the grid to 16th, with the C43’s solid one-lap performance replaced by struggles in race trim.

Asked if he was surprised at how Alfa Romeo’s pace dropped off from Saturday to Sunday, Bottas said: “A little bit. We definitely didn’t have the pace like we had yesterday on a single lap.

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Bottas qualified well, but didn't have the race pace to convert it into a points finish

“I think this reflects more the true pace that we have at the moment. We need to keep working. I obviously tried to fight the best I could, but just couldn’t hold on.”

As for how crucial Alfa Romeo’s next raft of car upgrades are, Bottas added: “Very important [and] definitely much, much needed. I look forward to seeing how they work, but we definitely need to keep pushing.”

STRATEGY UNPACKED: Was starting on the hard tyre the key to Verstappen’s victory in Miami?

Zhou echoed Bottas’ sentiments, describing how he was “sliding around” all afternoon as he struggled to get performance and life out of his tyres.

“[It was] better than last weekend, but still kind of here and affecting us, the performance, especially with a high-fuel car,” he said.

Zhou eyeing Imola upgrade after Alfa Romeo struggle with grip on race day in Miami

“It was very difficult for me to hold off the Aston behind and the guys around… Even the Haas seems to have stronger pace than us. Hopefully with the upgrades we have for Imola it can bring us forward, but it was a difficult Sunday out there.

“We had amazing pace over one lap, and then today in the race, everything’s just different: track temperature, also the grip, the way you have to handle the tyres… It seems like we find it more tricky.”

BEYOND THE GRID: Valtteri Bottas on his burning desire to win again, the story behind the mullet – and how he rates Hamilton

Having finished sixth in last year’s constructors’ standings, Alfa Romeo sit eighth after the first five rounds of the 2023 season with six points to their name, ahead of only AlphaTauri and Williams.

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