‘It’s not acceptable’ – Bottas and Zhou urge Kick Sauber to get on top of ‘frustrating’ issue for future races

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Valtteri Bottas and Zhou Guanyu have called on Kick Sauber to make rapid improvements in the pit lane after further problems compromised their efforts at the Australian Grand Prix.

Following similar wheel gun-related incidents at the opening two rounds in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia, the Kick Sauber crew were caught out once more in Melbourne as delayed tyre changes cost their drivers valuable time.

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For Bottas, a particularly delayed stop of around 30 seconds – which kept him in the pit lane for more than three quarters of a minute – ended his chances of scoring a valuable points finish for the Swiss operation.

Speaking after the race, Bottas highlighted the issue as one “we need to keep working on” if Kick Sauber are to compete with their rivals for prizes at upcoming races.

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“It’s not great,” lamented Bottas, who ultimately crossed the finish line in 14th position, having started 13th. “We know we have work to do on those.

“It’s frustrating because I think we had good pace, a good start, [and we] should have ideally got points with the performance we had. It’s tough.

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“The position I was [in], with the DNFs happening, we definitely should have come out with points. A 30-second pit stop is not really acceptable, but we’re working on it.”

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Zhou, who wound up a spot behind Bottas in 15th place, echoed his team mate’s thoughts as he described the pit stop woes as a “priority” for Kick Sauber to resolve.

“I think it didn’t make a massive change for my race, but clearly we still have some issues,” he said. “We need to investigate a little bit more what’s in that really.

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“I can’t really explain much more than what I did. We need to see. Of course, it’s a point that, for sure, is the priority to fix for the remaining races because it’s very important.”

Kick Sauber are one of three teams – along with Williams and Alpine – yet to score a point so far this season, with RB and Haas edging ahead in the constructors’ standings thanks to their recent top-10 finishes.



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