Everything is possible without disaster stops in Imola

Zero points in the World Cup, but far too much time in the pit lane: That’s how some would describe Sauber’s season so far. Apart from the Swiss team, only Williams remained without points after six races. That should now change in Imola. Updates on the car and the pit stop equipment, Valtteri Bottas with a declaration of war: Our Formula 1 season is only now really beginning!

Imola: Clean updates on the car and during pit stops

“Now we have the final solution to the problem,” says Valtteri Bottas, pleased that thanks to the new parts he no longer has to have nightmares about pit stops (52.44 seconds in Bahrain, 31.18 seconds in Australia). If Sauber had the potential for points in Formula 1 so far, the long stops destroyed any chance. The modified wheel nuts and wheel hubs should now put an end to the horror.

Guanyu Zhou in front of Sauber teammate Valtteri Bottas and Daniel Ricciardo in the Racing Bulls
Bottas hopes the poor Miami performance was an outlier, Photo: LAT Images

“Theoretically, there shouldn’t be any major problems anymore,” said the Sauber driver. This should also improve the consistency of the stops. And the performance of the car. “Hopefully that means we can now devote a little more resources to making the car faster.” In Miami nobody stood in the pits forever, but the C44’s poor performance still made points impossible.

New aerodynamic parts are already available in Imola: In addition to the pit stop equipment, the team from Hinwil is bringing a new underbody to the European opener of the premier class. “We didn’t have a good start to the year as a team. Mentally we can now use this as a fresh start,” said Valtteri Bottas. “There are no more excuses now!”

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Valtteri Bottas: Top 10 in Imola is the goal

“We should now be able to keep up with the competition during the pit stops. And if the upgrade works, we should be competitive like in China,” explains the ten-time GP winner. His problems getting used to his new race engineer Steve Petrik should also get better with every race.

The goals are clear: collect a lot of information about the upgrade, move into Q3, then get the first points. Also important for Valtteri Bottas, who currently does not have a contract for 2025. Ongoing discussions but nothing signed yet. The 34-year-old definitely wants to stay in the premier class. “No cycling contracts,” he jokes.

Where Valtteri Bottas will stay remains to be seen. A return to Mercedes isn’t even ruled out. At Sauber, at least one cockpit has already been assigned to Nico Hülkenberg in 2025. Bottas reveals why this is the case in this article.

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