Alfa Romeo F1 Team ORLEN will start in the top ten in tomorrow’s Spanish Grand Prix, as Valtteri Bottas qualified a fine seventh in today’s grid-setting session. Team-mate, Zhou Guanyu, was strong in Q1 and will start tomorrow’s race in P15.
Today’s result marks the best Barcelona qualifying performance for the team, in all its guises, since 2012, when Sergio Perez was fifth on the grid.
Frédéric Vasseur, Team Principal: “The team bounced back really strongly from a challenging Friday, and this clearly shows we are not letting any adversity get in the way of our work. On this day, P7 on the grid was the best possible result and Valtteri delivered an impressive lap to bring home this result. He will be in an excellent position to fight for a points finish – and so will be Zhou, who showed really good pace so far this weekend. We know our car tends to be stronger in race trim, so both drivers will be in a condition to battle the cars around them and hopefully bring home some more points.”
Valtteri Bottas (car number 77):
Alfa Romeo F1 Team ORLEN C42 (Chassis 03/Ferrari)
FP3: 9th / 1:20.781 (24 laps)
Q1: 1:20.355 (6 laps)
Q2: 1:20.053 (6 laps)
Q3: 7th / 1:19.608 (6 laps)
“I am happy about today’s result, we had a strong qualifying and we are in a really good place for tomorrow. In theory, we didn’t expect this track to suit us too well, but I think the upgrades gave us a good step forward in terms of performance. We had a solid FP3, which allowed us to make up some of the ground we lost yesterday, and we were quite consistent in each run throughout the day. I am glad we qualified well as I don’t think it will be easy to overtake on this track: I think P7 was the best result we could get today so I am happy we have achieved it – actually, the gap to the cars in front is not that big! Our car is usually better in the race, so we could be in for a good Sunday.”
Zhou Guanyu (car number 24):
Alfa Romeo F1 Team ORLEN C42 (Chassis 04/Ferrari)
FP3: 14th / 1:21.201 (19 laps)
Q1: 1:20.476 (9 laps)
Q2: 15th / 1:21.094 (6 laps)
“I’m optimistic about tomorrow’s race, as we definitely have the pace to fight for the top ten, but I’m convinced we could have battled for P10 or P11 today. We wanted to avoid the situation we had in Miami, where we got stuck in traffic at the end of Q1, so we chose to go for three runs on soft tyres in the first part of qualifying. It was the safe choice although, in hindsight, my second lap would have been enough to get into Q2. The second segment was always going to be tricky, with no fresh tyres, but that is what we had and we got the most out of it. We’ll aim to make up some ground tomorrow and end in the top ten at the end of the day.”