Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake completed its first day of on-track activities at the Japanese Grand Prix. Throughout the practice sessions, the team worked on optimising the upgrade package introduced in Singapore last weekend: Valtteri Bottas and Zhou Guanyu worked through their daily programmes, getting a good amount of mileage in and testing different set-ups and aero configurations on their C43s.
The data gathered today will be thoroughly analysed and compared overnight, allowing the team to evaluate the performance of the new parts ahead of tomorrow's crucial qualifying session at the Suzuka Circuit.
Valtteri Bottas (car number 77):
Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake C43 (Chassis 02/Ferrari)
FP1: 17th / 1:33.860 (24 laps)
FP2: 10th / 1:31.739 (22 laps)
"We had a positive Friday overall: it is always good fun around here in Suzuka, and I am glad to be back on track. I feel like we made some progress through our upgrades and the learnings from Singapore, getting to unlock a bit more performance from the new package and optimising the car in terms of setup. The feeling, as said, is positive, but our job doesn't stop here: we need to keep learning from the car, analysing the data we've gathered today and trying to optimise it ahead of tomorrow. I reckon most of our competitors are going to get better tomorrow, but it looks like we have more solid chances to do well in qualifying than we did in Singapore."
Zhou Guanyu (car number 24):
Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake C43 (Chassis 03/Ferrari)
FP1: 20th / 1:34.831 (23 laps)
FP2: 16th / 1:32.165 (16 laps)
"Today has been quite okay from my side: I feel like we made a concrete step forward in terms of performance compared to where we were last weekend, and the top ten feels more within reach for us here. Towards the end of the second practice session, I suffered an issue on the brakes, on which we promptly investigated upon my return to the garage. We tested different setups on both cars throughout the sessions, and we gathered a decent amount of data and some terms of comparison, which will be useful tonight, as we will be working on figuring out which setup works best to fine-tune it ahead of tomorrow."