Spa-Francorchamps, 29 July 2023 – Alfa Romeo F1 Team KICK battled the elements in a shortened Sprint Race in Spa-Francorchamps. Starting from the bottom of the grid, Valtteri Bottas and Zhou Guanyu did a fine job keeping out of trouble and, amid the spray and the slippery conditions, made up a few places to cross the finish line in 13th and 15th positions, respectively.
The team will return to action tomorrow, in the main event of the weekend and the last bit of track action before the summer break.
Alessandro Alunni Bravi, Team Representative: “Today, we have been able to execute our race well and recover positions with both drivers, despite our starting places on the grid. This morning, in the Shootout, we couldn’t properly extract performance from our package because of the unsuitable conditions during the session, and also because of an unfortunate timing which saw both drivers being stuck in traffic on the last chicane before their final push lap. Valtteri had a solid race, recovering four places on track and benefitting from the right call to switch to intermediate tyres on the first lap, showing good race pace in comparison to our direct competitors. With Zhou, we opted to split strategies and call him to the pits one lap later, to have him benefitting from some free air around him and avoiding time-loss with a double pit stop. He, too, was able to recover four positions overall, despite some troubles with visibility due to the water spray raised by cars in front. As a positive to take from today, we have seen how our set up works best in drying conditions, which gives us confidence ahead of tomorrow’s main event, which is expected to be dry: we made a step forward, no matter the slippery and changeable conditions, but this was still not sufficient to fully show our potential. Now, we must look ahead onto tomorrow’s race, aiming to keep up with good performance and being ready to take up any opportunity this track may offer.”
Valtteri Bottas (car number 77):
Alfa Romeo F1 Team KICK C43 (Chassis 02/Ferrari)
SQ1: 17th / 2:00.951 (6 laps)
Fastest lap: 2:03.595 (Lap 6)
Tyres: New Wet (4 laps) – Used Inters (11 laps)
“It was pretty tricky out there today, but nothing different from what we have had this weekend so far. The weather has been changing unbelievably fast throughout the day, and it’s been unpredictable, too. At least, despite everything, we got some good racing done this afternoon, which is always good fun, and also made up a few places up through the field. Overall, as a positive to take home from today, our pace and car felt good, which gives us confidence ahead of tomorrow’s race, with better starting positions.”
Zhou Guanyu (car number 24):
Alfa Romeo F1 Team KICK C43 (Chassis 03/Ferrari)
SQ1: 19th / 2:01.430 (7 laps)
Fastest lap: 2:04.760 (Lap 6)
Tyres: New Wet (5 laps) – Used Inters (10 laps)
“I had very limited visibility during most of the Sprint: it only started to get slightly clearer in the final four or five laps, so, obviously, overtaking was a difficult job as well. Overall, the main goal today, given the situation, was trying to keep the car away from any damage. During the race we opted to pit earlier than expected, as the tyres were degrading very quickly due to the drying lines. Nevertheless, tomorrow should be mostly cloudy and dry, and I believe this weather should suit our car more. I am confident, with dry conditions, we should be able to move forward quickly and charge through the field.”