Sainz and Bottas agree F1 finishing position more important than wind tunnel time

Ferrari and Alfa Romeo could benefit from lower finishes in the 2022 F1 Constructors' Championship thanks to wind tunnel test limits.


With the 2022 F1 season drawing to a close, Carlos Sainz and Valtteri Bottas have rebutted suggestions they’d prefer a lower Constructors’ Championship finish in order to get more wind tunnel time to develop their respective 2023 cars.

After holding a 67-point lead over Mercedes in late-October, Ferrari are now just 40 points ahead of the Silver Arrows and could gain 5 percent more time in the wind tunnel if they’re overtaken.

But Sainz vehemently rejected any thoughts of gamesmanship, as Ferrari are on course for their best constructors’ championship finish since 2019.

“I think we will take P2,” Sainz told the media. “I think they should prioritise position in the championship. If not, we wouldn’t be fighting for positions in the championship.

“The competition is I think is the number one priority and finishing ahead of your competition should always be more satisfying than finishing one position behind and then not getting the wind tunnel time.

“Your main motivation is to finish ahead, I hope the rules are also behind that.”

Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz Jr. in action during the 2022 Dutch Grand Prix | REUTERS/Piroschka Van De Wouw

Asked the same question, Bottas‘ answer was more considered than Sainz, although he implied it was more a decision for Alfa Romeo team boss Fred Vasseur.

Bottas was on the longest pointless run in F1 before the Mexican Grand Prix, but managed a much-deserved tenth place in Mexico City to break a run that stretched back to the Canadian Grand Prix.

“Good question, you should ask [Alfa Romeo team principal] Fred [Vasseur],” Bottas said. “I think obviously there’s pros and cons.

“We’re not quite fully at the budget cap and we could do with some more cash, that will help for sure. I think we’re pushing for P6 and take the money and use that for quite a bit of development – driving salaries.”

Alfa Romeo’s Valtteri Bottas during testing REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed

What’s at stake?

Teams now have wind tunnel testing time limited based on their finish in the constructors’ championship.

Seventh place is the baseline, and Alfa Romeo are just four points ahead of that position, currently held by Aston Martin. They’d gain 5% more testing time, but lose out on prize money for the lower finish.

There’s the same testing time difference between second and third, but given Red Bull have had their testing time cut then there’s extra significance for either Mercedes or Ferrari. Whoever finishes third will have 17% more testing time than this season’s double-champions.

Adam Dickinson
Adam Dickinson
An international multi-award-winning journalist, Adam Dickinson has written for since June 2022 and also contributes to TNT Sports, Eurosport and the Rugby Paper. He's also had articles published in the Daily Telegraph and several local newspapers, previously worked for and in motorsport, and graduated with a First-Class Journalism Degree from the University of Sheffield having also studied in Oklahoma. Adam started watching F1 by accident in 2007, catching the last race in Indianapolis, and attended his first race as a journalist at the 2023 British Grand Prix.
- Advertisment -


Alex Bowman celebrates victory at the 2024 Chicago Street Race | NASCAR

How rain strategy helped Alex Bowman end his drought in Chicago

Alex Bowman and his job with Hendrick Motorsports was never really in question as his contract runs through the...
Lewis Hamilton, Lando Norris and Max Verstappen 1 at the 2024 British GP | Mercedes

F1 Driver Ratings — 2024 British GP

Lewis Hamilton finally ended his long wait for a race victory at the Formula 1 2024 British GP as...
George Russell leads the field into Turn 1 at the 2024 British GP | Mercedes

F1 Winners and Losers from the British GP

Lewis Hamilton emerged victorious in one of the most memorable races in recent Formula 1 history, which begs the...
Lewis Hamilton celebrates after winning the 2024 British GP | Mercedes

Lewis Hamilton masterclass proves he can take fight to Verstappen

Lewis Hamilton basked in the glory of his long-awaited victory at the British Grand Prix, celebrating in front of...
Max Verstappen looks on at the 2024 Austrian GP | Chris Graythen / Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

Max Verstappen rues ‘poor’ British GP as Red Bull battle rare issue

Max Verstappen conceded it was a "poor afternoon" for Red Bull at the Formula 1 2024 British Grand Prix...
Lando Norris with engineers at 2024 British GP | McLaren F1 Team

Are McLaren becoming ‘new Ferrari’ after another strategy blunder?

Lando Norris' media appearances after the British GP were a genuinely tough watch, with reporters seemingly counselling the 24-year-old...
Race winner Lewis Hamilton of Mercedes Max Verstappen on the podium after the 2024 British Grand Prix | Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

Lewis Hamilton: British GP win more crucial to Mercedes than Russell victory

Lewis Hamilton explained why he felt his victory at the Formula 1 2024 British Grand Prix on Sunday was...
Carlos Sainz at the 2024 Austrian GP | Scuderia Ferrari Press Office

F1 2024 British GP – Fastest Lap

Carlos Sainz snatched the fastest lap at the 2024 British GP at the final opportunity as an all-time classic...
Lando Norris during 2024 British GP | McLaren F1 Team

F1 Standings after 2024 British Grand Prix

An emotional 2024 British Grand Prix saw Lewis Hamilton take a record-breaking win at Silverstone, outsmarting Lando Norris and...
Max Verstappen leads Lando Norris of McLaren during the 2024 British Grand Prix | Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

F1 2024 British GP: Driver of the Day

There is a reason why the British Grand Prix remains the hottest attraction on the Formula 1 calendar and...
- Advertisment -