Valtteri Bottas says that floor damage he picked up towards the start of the Spanish Grand Prix resulted in his lack of performance.
The Finn languished towards the rear of the field on race day after qualifying in 16th place.
Bottas went backwards during the race and crossed the line in 19th position, one lap down on race winner Max Verstappen.
His performance raised eyebrows amid a strong day for his team-mate Zhou Guanyu who is currently experiencing his second full season in F1.
“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 after the grand prix.
“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.”
And following further investigations, Bottas confirmed that Alfa Romeo discovered damage to his floor that cost him substantial pace during the grand prix.
“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,” he said.
“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.”