Valtteri Bottas mentioned it was “good enjoyable” as he harried Mercedes’ George Russell at Imola, going very near snatching P4.
Bottas had began P7 however was a stand-out performer on the entrance of the midfield and will have been within the hunt for a podium end however for a particularly gradual pit-stop when Alfa Romeo have been swapping him from intermediate tyres to slicks.
The Finn got here again strongly although and within the closing phases was seeking to snatch P4 from Russell, the motive force who changed him at Mercedes for the 2022 season.
It additionally rekindled recollections of the high-speed collision between the duo on the similar venue final season when Russell was within the Williams and which ended each drivers’ races.
He was not fairly capable of execute an overtake, however contemplating how his race had gone after a collision on the opening lap after which the poor cease, Bottas was glad.
“It was a superb race, even with a little bit of contact in Flip 2,” Bottas advised reporters.
“Fortunately there was no injury and the pit-stop for certain compromised the race a bit, however after that we had actually good tempo. I might push flat out all by way of the race and I used to be catching Mercedes fairly properly.
“Sadly we didn’t fairly have the tempo in direction of the tip to overhaul them, however nonetheless good factors.”
Bottas mentioned it was “actually good enjoyable” to have that tempo to struggle Mercedes, whereas he revealed Alfa Romeo had introduced an improve to the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix – reported to be on the automotive’s ground – which definitely appeared to work for them.
Put to him it had regarded like good enjoyable combating Russell, Bottas replied: “Yeah, it’s. I’m actually having fun with it, it’s actually good enjoyable.
“The upgrades we had this weekend undoubtedly made the automotive even stronger, so it’s a superb feeling.”
With that consequence, Alfa Romeo improved to P5 within the Constructors’ Championship, though Bottas defined the workforce nonetheless have enhancements to make.
Nonetheless, he’s very a lot wanting ahead to the following outing, which can be Formulation 1’s first ever Miami Grand Prix.
“It’s going to the plan for now, however we nonetheless have loads of issues to get proper and enhance,” mentioned Bottas of Alfa Romeo’s season thus far.
“Wanting ahead to the following one.”