Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake displayed good pace in qualifying for the Las Vegas Grand Prix, with Valtteri Bottas closing the session in eighth place – which will translate to seventh on the grid, owing to a penalty to Carlos Sainz. Team-mate, Zhou Guanyu, endured a more challenging session, as he encountered traffic on his final attempt and finished 18th.
All bets are off for tomorrow's race – the showdown under the lights of Las Vegas.
Alessandro Alunni Bravi, Team Representative: "Tonight's qualifying session confirmed the good job we’ve done throughout the weekend. Valtteri performed really well from the very beginning and we entered the session with confidence, but you never know: you still have to put together every sector and time your runs well to avoid traffic, but we managed all of this very well. Perhaps, we could have even gained one more position, splitting the Williamses, but we’re still satisfied with the good job we've done. Zhou had a more challenging session, and wasn’t able to fully demonstrate the pace of the car as he was caught in traffic on his final run; he’ll have a big job ahead of himself tomorrow, but we’ve seen that our perfomance can allow us to fight and this is what we plan to do. We are fully aware of how close the championship battle is and that's all the motivation we need: we need to do well and score points to close the gap to the team ahead of us, and keep the fight alive until the final race. We did a good job today, but tomorrow is when it really matters, and we’ll need to execute a perfect race to confirm ourselves on these levels."
Valtteri Bottas (car number 77):
Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake C43 (Chassis 02/Ferrari)
FP3: 9th / 1:34.908 (18 laps)
Q1: 1:34.305 (9 laps)
Q2: 1:33.809 (6 laps)
Q3: 8th / 1:33.525 (4 laps)
"I am really pleased for our performance tonight, it's a great result for us and it gives us a good opportunity to score some points tomorrow. It's a shame Zhou had a tricky Q1, otherwise we could have been up there with both cars; in any case, we can be happy about our pace, especially as we couldn't really be sure about where we’d be coming into this race. We were able to find the right window to operate our car, and we were able to extract more performance in every segment of qualifying. There's never a single silver bullet, but we executed every element well: it's a lot of small margins that worked for us and made a big difference in the end result."
Zhou Guanyu (car number 24):
Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake C43 (Chassis 01/Ferrari)
FP3: 15th / 1:35.881 (15 laps)
Q1: 18th / 1:34.849 (10 laps)
"Our pace was decent, and it could have allowed us to fight for a spot in Q2 – a marked improvement compared to yesterday, as my weekend has been quite tricky so far. Unfortunately, I encountered some traffic during my final lap, and couldn't improve my time when the track was at its best. Still, I felt I was in the mix with our main competitors, which gives us some hope ahead of the race. It surely will be challenging, starting from the ninth row, but we keep our options open: with a good start and an aggressive strategy, we can hopefully make some places up."