Following problems with wheelnuts for Bottas in Bahrain and team-mate Zhou Guanyu in Saudi Arabia, the former toughed another lengthy stop in the Australian GP at a stage when he had a chance to score points.

Bottas eventually crossed the line in 14th place, and Alunni Bravi immediately got on the radio to offer the Finn a public apology for the pit issue, while promising that it would be resolved.

“It is important, because in three races we had three problems with the pitstop, also the second with Valtteri,” Alunni Bravi told Motorsport.com when asked about his message.

“For me, it is important when we have a problem that we show to our drivers that we are together, that we work together. We always say that we win or we lose together, but this is even more important in this situation.

“And Valtteri did a strong race. And we want him to be motivated strongly at all the grands prix. And I think it was the minimum for us to say sorry.

“As I say to all the team, we need to take the responsibility when things are not going in the right direction, and to work together to improve.

“I want to say that we come back with some positives this weekend. Of course, everything has been compromised by these issues. We need to work really hard, because this was another missed opportunity.”

Valtteri Bottas, Kick Sauber C44

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

Bottas admitted that a second pit delay in three starts was frustrating, especially with a top 10 finish on offer.

“It’s tough,” he said. “It’s not like points are easy to get this year. So I think we lost an opportunity there.

“But it just shows that obviously, we haven’t 100% fixed the issue with the stops. All I know is that we’re working on it, and we just need to find the fix as quickly as possible.

“We should have been in the top 10, especially considering that there were carbon bits here and there, and cars DNF’ing.”

Alunni Bravi stressed that Bottas showed good speed in Melbourne prior to the delay.

“Valtteri showed that he has the peace to fight with Fernando [Alonso] at the beginning of the race,” he said. “And he was with the same race pace as [Yuki] Tsunoda.

“This is the positive that we can take out from the race. And in terms of tire degradation, we had a very strong first stint.

“We cannot consider the second one, because Valtteri at that point was lapped after the pitstop, and so the blue flags of course affected his consistency.

“So we know that we have this problem, we are working to fix it. It’s very painful for all the team because both in terms of car performance and also execution during this weekend from qualifying to the race we have been stronger, and we will be stronger in Suzuka.”

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