While Mercedes are struggling, the Alfa Romeo team are on the up and ex-Mercedes driver Valterri Bottas has had a great start to the season. The Finn is just 4 points behind his ex-team mate Lewis Hamilton in the drivers championship and analysis shows he could even be ahead of the ex world champion had Alfa not botched his pit stop in Imola.
Whilst Hamilton scraped out of Q1 and set a time only good enough to start the race P13, Bottas not only made P3 but set a time good enough for 8Th. In the Sprint he gained a place and was 7th on the grid for Sunday’s GP.
Bottas was much quicker in the dry than both Russell and Norris who finished ahead of him, but a cross threaded nut saw him in the pits for 11.330s longer than the quickest Red Bull time.
Valterri had the slowest pit stop time of all and Alex Brundle demonstrated on the Inside Line how were that tyre change time had been similar to Russell’s he would have finished ahead of the lead Mercedes driver and also on the podium not Lando Norris.
Hamilton may have felt aggrieved to be lapped twice by his rival arch Max Verstappen, but had Bottas made the third step of the podium could have made a disastrous weekend for Lewis feel even worse.