Valtteri Bottas says improving reliability has to be Alfa Romeo’s short-term focus after a spate of setbacks through the 2022 season.
Alfa Romeo leapt up Formula 1’s pecking order under new regulations but has regressed in recent grands prix, with Bottas hampered by mechanical gremlins.
Bottas has failed to finish three grands prix this year, including two of the last four events in Britain and Hungary, while he was forced to start from the back in Austria due to exceeding his power unit allocation.
Bottas was also hindered in several Friday practice sessions this year due to engine issues.
“For sure we’re lacking in reliability,” said Bottas. “In terms of pace, we were a bit better this weekend than in the previous races, so that’s positive but yes, we do need to finish the races.
“It would have been an even greater shame [in Hungary] if we were about to score points again and we had the issue. So, high focus on reliability first and then on performance as well.”
Bottas’ team-mate Zhou Guanyu also failed to score in Hungary, extending Alfa Romeo’s drought to four events, but he was encouraged by the relative upturn in speed.
“I think we had a strong pace [in Hungary], and we deserved a little more, as in terms of performances we seemed to be back to where we were around Silverstone,” said Zhou.
“I learned a lot so far this season, it’s been both tough and enjoyable, and there’s still much room for improvement.”
Alfa Romeo holds sixth in the standings, adrift of the Alpine-McLaren fight, but 17 points clear of Haas.