Bottas feared 2021 repeat in tense final lap · RaceFans

Valtteri Bottas said the tense wait to learn whether Alfa Romeo had secured sixth place in the constructors standings reminded him of the controversial outcome of last year’s drivers championship.

Alfa Romeo ended the season tied on points with Aston Martin, but beat them to sixth place in the constructors championship because they had the better individual race finish thanks to the fifth place Bottas scored in the Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix.

But in the final laps of the race Alfa Romeo were concerned Aston Martin might pick up an extra point. Sebastian Vettel was bearing down on Daniel Ricciardo, while Lance Stroll was trying to claim the bonus point for fastest lap.

Bottas finished the race 15th, unable to influence the outcome of the championship fight. While he was being told how close the situation was he remarked “don’t do it to me again, Abu Dhabi” on his radio.

Sebastian Vettel, Aston Martin, Yas Marina, 2022
Gallery: 2022 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix in pictures

Last year Bottas was part of Mercedes’ unsuccessful effort to secure the drivers championship for Lewis Hamilton. That outcome swung when Hamilton was passed by Max Verstappen in a last-lap restart which was called in contravention of the rules by the FIA F1 race director.

Speaking to media including RaceFans in Abu Dhabi, Bottas admitted “it was so nerve-wracking on the in-lap waiting for the results and I had a deja vu to last year when everything changed in the last lap and now it was luckily for good.”

Finishing ahead of Aston Martin ensures Alfa Romeo claim valuable extra prize money. “For the team it’s big,” said Bottas. “If you look at the last two years where the team has been it’s a big step. Even the prize money is really going to help us. So I’m so glad that we got it.”

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Bottas’ radio messages from the end of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

Chan Okay Valtteri that’s the chequered flag for us. Mode end over the line. Current situation Vettel has DRS for Ricciardo and Stroll is going for fastest lap. This is going to be very tight. Currently we are tied on points. Being tied on points leaves us ahead on points count-back. I’ll let you know with these two guys.
Bottas Don’t do it to me again, Abu Dhabi, please.
Chan I know, I know.
Chan Stroll has aborted his fastest lap attempts. Stroll will not get fastest lap.
Chan Okay Valtteri Ricciardo held on to P10. We have P6. You did it. We did enough.
Bottas Ha! Luck does change. Well done, guys. Well deserved. That’s only the beginning for us.
Chan Yeah, tough race for us today. But we can reflect on a great season together. Thanks for everything this year.

Stroll’s radio messages from the end of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

Aston Martin initially prepared Stroll to make a bid for fastest lap at the end of the race.

Michell Okay Lance two to go. Cool your tyres. We’re going to try fastest lap on the last lap so cool your tyres, we’re going to go for one push lap. Gap behind 7.4 to Ricciardo.
Stroll Who is behind Ricciardo?
Michell Sebastian, then Tsunoda. So we don’t want to give Ricciardo DRS or any tow. So he’s seven-and-a-half behind so just cool your tyres.
Michell So Lance use K0 now, nine and 12. K0 now until turn 12.
Stroll How much do I need for the fastest lap?
Michell Okay Lance you need 1.3 on your delta. We don’t think that’s possible so don’t take any risks. Strat five across the line. This is the last lap.

Stroll wasn’t able to take the fastest lap away from Lando Norris, and the team fell short of beating Alfa Romeo by one point.

Michell Okay Lance so Hamilton retired, that’s P8. Take the pick-up. Sebastian P10 so we just missed it. But that was an excellent race, Lance, So P8.
Stroll Oh, fuck. I’m sorry, guys.
Michell Out four and MFB grey position four.
Michell Okay all the switches are good, Lance, just takle the pick-up and come back, well done.
Michell That’s Sebastian and Ricciardo, P9 and P10 have just come past you.
Stroll Sorry we missed it guys, it wasn’t fair. Just didn’t have enough things go our way thids season. We deserved more than that.
Michell It’s a great recovery. We’re fighting with cars that we didn’t think we were going to have at the start so it’s a strong race, really strong race.

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