Alfa Romeo F1 Team ORLEN endured a challenging qualifying session at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, with Zhou Guanyu setting the 15th fastest time and Valtteri Bottas following in 18th. Both cars will have a big job on hand to score points tomorrow but, with a long Sunday evening ahead of us and the C42 working well in race trim, there is all to play for in the final race of the year.
Frédéric Vasseur, Team Principal: "We looked a lot better ahead of tonight, so it is disappointing not to have a car in Q3. We struggled to get our tyres to work for a single lap and we just lacked the pace we would have needed to emerge from such a close midfield. It's not time to despair, however: there is still a long race ahead of us tomorrow and we’ve demonstrated before that we can make up ground on Sunday. This will be the target for tomorrow: we will give everything until the final corner of the final lap to secure our objective."
Valtteri Bottas (car number 77):
Alfa Romeo F1 Team ORLEN C42 (Chassis 04/Ferrari)
FP3: 14th / 1:26.189 (17 laps)
Q1: 18th / 1:25.859 (6 laps)
"We went into qualifying knowing we had good pace, so I believe today's result doesn't really reflect where our car actually is. It was a strange feeling, we just couldn't get the tyres to work in our outlap and, as a result, our sector one pace suffered. This was especially so on my second run – there was so much traffic at the end of the outlap, I had to pretty much stop and that destroyed our attempt. It's frustrating, of course, but now we need to prepare in the best possible way for tomorrow's race."
Zhou Guanyu (car number 24):
Alfa Romeo F1 Team ORLEN C42 (Chassis 03/Ferrari)
FP3: 19th / 1:26.482 (17 laps)
Q1: 1:25.594 (6 laps)
Q2: 15th / 1:25.408 (6 laps)
"I feel I got as much as I could out of the car tonight, as my qualifying performance was alright: unfortunately, we weren't close enough in terms of pace to be a little further up the grid. Yesterday, everything was working fairly well, while today has been more difficult. We struggled a bit during FP3 earlier today, and even though it seemed like we got our pace back in the afternoon, I don't think we quite had the speed to fight for Q3. We definitely hoped for more, but nevertheless as the midfield was pretty close during Q1, we will hopefully be able to move further up to deliver the results we worked so hard for."