Valtteri Bottas has praised Alfa Romeo after the team sacrificed their own results in Abu Dhabi to focus on preventing Aston Martin from beating them in the Constructors' Championship.
With Alfa only four points ahead of Aston going into the weekend, the squad opted to try to make life difficult for their rivals at the Yas Marina Circuit in the hope of stopping them from scoring enough points to take P6 in the Constructors'.
During the race, the team ensured that Zhou Guanyu undercut Sebastian Vettel at the pit-stops, while Bottas extended his stint on the Hard tyre to stay out on track before Lance Stroll made his second visit to the pits.
While Zhou and Bottas ultimately finished outside of the points in P12 and P15 respectively, Stroll and Vettel's P8 and P10 result was not enough for Aston to overtake Alfa on points.
The two teams tied on 55 points each, but Alfa secure P6 thanks to Bottas' fifth place at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix beating any result for Aston in 2022.
Bottas hails Alfa Romeo's achievement
Reflecting on the outcome after the race, Bottas – who joined the team at the start of the campaign following five years at Mercedes – admitted that it had been a tense final few laps to the race.
"I am really pleased for the team, it's an important result and you can see what it means for everyone of us," the Finn explained.
"It was close, very close in our battle for sixth in the championship, but we did it and I am proud of everyone tonight.
"The only thing that mattered to us today was the standings results and the strategy we chose was quite defensive, trying to hold position and slow down our rivals when we found ourselves in front of them.
"It worked, but it was a tense few moments in the final lap: waiting to hear if we had made it gave me a bit of a sense of deja vu – although tonight we had a much more positive ending than last time around."
Bottas was left feeling proud of Alfa's progress.
"I am proud of how the team came a long way since winter testing: we scored a lot of points at the beginning of the year and those results made all the difference at the end of the season," he added.
"The spirit in the team is excellent, we can be proud of our work and this will help us continue our progression next year. There’s plenty to look forward to."
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Zhou pleased with Alfa 'sacrifice'
After his first season with the team – as well as it being his debut campaign in F1 – Zhou was similarly full of praise for their achievement.
"I am so proud of this team, not just for tonight but for the whole season," the Chinese driver said.
"We gave everything in the race and, despite not scoring points, we achieved our target, which was finishing P6 in the championship.
"We had to sacrifice my strategy to hold on through the last laps, and I think we did a good job with that.
"We truly gave it all out there, it was an amazing fight on track and I think also the best overtake I’ve done all season.
"We got what we deserved after such a long year."
Video: Bottas takes RacingNews365.com on F1 hot lap of Abu Dhabi!
Editorial Director Dieter Rencken joined the Alfa Romeo driver for a hot lap of the track, which has hosted Formula 1 since back in 2009.
Along the way, Bottas reveals the secrets of the venue.