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How Bottas managed to 'pay back' Alfa Romeo in Miami

Despite missing out on running in Friday's practice sessions after sustaining damage from a crash, Valtteri Bottas bounced back on Saturday to claim 'best of the rest' behind the Ferrari and Red Bull cars in qualifying for the Miami Grand Prix.

Valtteri Bottas admits that he felt a need to "pay back" his Alfa Romeo team with a good result in qualifying for the Miami Grand Prix following his crash on Friday. The Finn lost control of the car during Free Practice 1 and slid into the barriers at Turn 7. This caused a fair amount of damage to the C42, and consequently Bottas was forced to sit out FP2 as his crew worked on the repairs. He bounced back in style on Saturday, though. After putting in more laps than anyone else during FP3, Bottas had a strong qualifying session later in the day, and managed to secure P5 on the grid for Sunday's race, taking the 'best of the rest' position behind the Ferrari and Red Bull cars. After his incident on Friday, Bottas was pleased to be able to thank the team for their work with his result. "I felt I had like an obligation to pay back to the team with a good result!" he told media, including RacingNews365.com . "I think we can be pleased with the recovery from yesterday, because I missed so much running."

How Bottas bounced back in qualifying

Bottas says that the team's work in Free Practice 3 paid off in terms of how he was able to perform strongly in qualifying. "We had a good FP3, so [we] just really focused on the priorities and getting the set-up right," he explained. "And then it was really up to me to find the rhythm. Lap by lap, I could find things here and there, because I did have catching up to do compared to other drivers. "I'm pleased how it ended up, and I had the best lap of my weekend so far in [Q3]." When asked whether this is the best that the car has felt so far in the 2022 season, Bottas admitted: "Performance-wise in qualifying, yes, I think so, absolutely. "Coming here, I knew that this track layout could be quite okay, and I think it proved that we still have [a] good car in slow-speed corners, and we are pretty good on the straight as well."

Why the Alfa Romeo suits Miami

Given that this is F1's first visit to the Miami International Autodrome, Bottas was happy to be able to find a 'sweet spot' with the tyres on his C42. "It wasn't easy, because [Q1] was so close that I was [nearly] out," he commented. "But then, once I really found the rhythm on the right way of getting the tyres ready and so on, then it started to click and [I] found the right way." Bottas also believes that there are certain sections of the track that seem to suit the Alfa Romeo car well. "We seem to have really good stability in slow-speed corners, and overall good downforce in slow-speed corners," the former Mercedes driver added. "There's only pretty much one or two high-speed corners, and that is definitely not the strength, so we still have work to do on those. "Also straight-line [speed], I think we're quite efficient."

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