In the round-up: Valtteri Bottas says the high ride height required to handle the Circuit of the Americas’ bumps hurt Alfa Romeo’s performances.
Bottas blames bumps and ride height for Austin struggles
The bumpiness of the Circuit of the Americas meant Formula 1 teams had to raise the ride heights of their cars for the United States Grand Prix to avoid them bottoming out and wearing down the planks, a problem which led to the disqualification of two drivers.
Bottas felt the loss of downforce from bringing the height of the floor higher above the ground severely impacted his team’s ability to compete against their opposition. Bottas qualified 13th and came home 12th in the grand prix.
“We just always felt like we were on the back foot almost against any car today,” he said afterwards. “I think this confirms from yesterday that the pure pace is not there. No matter which tyre compound, we’re just not fast enough.
“My feeling at the moment is it’s quite track-specific, because it is a bumpy track and it means we need to lift the car up. And I feel like for us it’s maybe more penalising than some other cars.”
He said there had been “no improvement” in the bumpiness of the track which drivers have complained about for many years. “It is a characteristics of the track, but for our car it was a bit [too much]”.
Alpine junior Mini tops day one of F3 test
Gabriele Mini was fastest on the first day of FIA Formula 3’s post-season test at Imola. The Prema driver set a 1’30.225 in the last minutes of the afternoon session on Monday, which put him 0.294 seconds ahead of Campos Racing’s Oliver Goethe in second place.
Ferrari junior Dino Beganovic had set the pace in the morning for Prema, while Mini’s running was curtailed by a technical fault. Mari Boya of Campos was denied first place by just 0.02s in that session, with Hitech GP’s Luke Browning in third place after spending most of the morning on top. Sebastian Montoya failed to set any laps.
In the afternoon British Formula 4 champion Louis Sharp was fastest at first, but Alpine junior Mini soon established himself on top and went faster than Beganovic did in the morning. Beganovic ended up in third place, 0.36s slower than Mini, with Boya fourth.
Formula E’s 2024 pre-season gets underway
There are 82 days until the start of the 2024 Formula E season, and testing for the second year of competition using the Gen3 cars begins today at Valencia’s Ricardo Tormo circuit.
The championship’s 11 teams will get a three-hour session in the morning (9am-12pm) and one in the afternoon (2pm-5pm), with an identical timetable for Wednesday and Friday’s track action. All teams are obliged to run a ‘rookie’ driver in at least one of the test’s sessions.
Run plans are free to be determined by competitors for the test’s first day, but on Wednesday each car will need to do two race simulations. FE races vary in duration but usually last somewhere between 40 minutes an one hour. The simulations will be key for Maserati’s Jehan Daruvala, who will be the only rookie on the 2024 grid.
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Happy birthday to Adam Tate!
On this day in motorsport
- 30 years ago today Ayrton Senna won the Japanese Grand Prix, then punched newcomer Eddie Irvine who had held him up while being lapped