Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake completed the first Friday of competitive action in 2023 as the team took part in two practice sessions at the Bahrain Grand Prix. Valtteri Bottas and Zhou Guanyu were behind the wheel of the C43 as the team worked to fine-tune the setup of its new challenger ahead of tomorrow's qualifying session.
The first day of on-track activity in the championship also marked a special anniversary for the team: on Monday, the team will proudly celebrate the 60th birthday of Autodelta, Alfa Romeo's racing department since 1963. The Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake C43 will sport a special commemorative logo, designed by Alfa Romeo's Centro Stile, throughout the weekend – a touch of noble Italian sportiness placed at the base of the C43's halo.
Valtteri Bottas (car number 77):
Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake C43 (Chassis 03/Ferrari)
FP1: 9th / 1:34.689 (20 laps)
FP2: 12th / 1:31.793 (28 laps)
"We've had a solid day and I feel already confident with the car, especially with the setup we had in FP2. The car behaved as expected, so no surprises there, and now we can just focus on fine-tuning it ahead of qualifying tomorrow. We looked consistent also in our long runs, which was a good practice for the race. As expected, the midfield is extremely close and a small gain or loss can mean a big difference in position: finding a spot in the top ten won't be easy but it's a realistic target for us – with both cars. Making predictions is going to be really difficult, but it should make for an exciting day tomorrow."
Zhou Guanyu (car number 24):
Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake C43 (Chassis 04/Ferrari)
FP1: 8th / 1:34.575 (18 laps)
FP2: 10th / 1:31.586 (27 laps)
"Today has been smooth overall. We have been able to complete every task we had set for ourselves ahead of both sessions and the car felt good, it was comfortable straight away. As predicted, everyone is pretty close in the midfield: we must do some homework overnight, looking through the data gathered today, and try to make some gains as every little fraction of a second will matter. I feel we are in a decent spot, in terms of pace, so it's really a matter of working out a few small details and making sure we are ready for the race."