A new front wing contributed to a good performance from Valtteri Bottas in the Melbourne race, although a pit stop delay meant that it wasn’t converted into points as he slipped back to 13th.

At the next event in Suzuka, the team will have another upgrade package – which will be its third in four races – as it tries to find an edge in the tight midfield pack.

“Of course we know that this championship will be extremely competitive, and the battle will be really tough until the very last race,” Alunni Bravi told Motorsport.com.

“We have done three races, and we [would] be more worried if we didn’t have the pace to fight for the points. But we know that we have the pace to fight for the points. Australia has been a confirmation of this, so we also need to look ahead with confidence.

Alessandro Alunni Bravi, Team Representative, Kick Sauber F1 Team

Photo by: Sauber F1 Team

“As soon as we have fixed this pitstop problem – and we want to fix it as soon as possible – we will have other opportunities to score points, because this is the level that our car now has shown, that we can be in the position to fight for the points at every race.

“This is the positive that we can take out from the race. We have also improved with the new front wing, both in qualifying and the race, having a good balance.

“In Japan we will also have the new upgrade, the third this season in the first four races. “The priority now is to fix these issues as soon as possible.”

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Bottas indicated that the car felt much more competitive in Australia, even if he didn’t get the result that he felt he deserved.

“It’s very important to take those opportunities, but actually pace-wise, it seems like we’re a bit closer to Aston than we’ve seen previously,” the Finn noted in Melbourne.

“We have upgrades for Japan. We were definitely feeling better compared to the first two events, and hopefully the upgrades work in Japan, and then we’ll see.

“It’s a long season ahead. But the main thing is now the pitstops – we need to get them right, otherwise it doesn’t matter what you have in the car.”

Asked if the wing seen in Melbourne would be further enhanced by the new parts in Suzuka, he said: “It’s quite an isolated upgrade, so it was a small step. But hopefully we can make a bigger step in Japan.”



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