2024 Japanese Grand Prix - Friday


Suzuka, 5 April 2024 – Stake F1 Team KICK Sauber made its return to Suzuka on a day of mixed weather conditions, as the team and drivers, Valtteri Bottas and Zhou Guanyu, completed two very different practice sessions. A clear morning of action, despite a red flag, gave way to a rainy afternoon session with little meaningful running: still, the first indications from the track are positive, with the engineering team tasked with improving the car even further ahead of tomorrow's Qualifying.

Valtteri Bottas (car number 77):

Stake F1 Team KICK Sauber C44 (Chassis 02/Ferrari)

FP1: 14th / 1:32.054 (17 laps)

FP2: 7th / No Time Set (7 laps)

"It's great to be back on track here in Suzuka for what, overall, has been a positive day for us, despite the mixed weather conditions. The upgrades we have brought for this race have been working as we expected, and the feeling within the team was quite good this morning. It's a shame we couldn't make the most out of FP2, with the rain preventing most meaningful laps, but we still got some decent running and gathered useful information to work on overnight, as well as practiced our pit stops. We still haven't managed to run on the soft tyres in dry conditions, but we'll hopefully be able to do that tomorrow in the final practice session, to come prepared for Qualifying and try to get into the top ten."

Zhou Guanyu (car number 24):

Stake F1 Team KICK Sauber C44 (Chassis 03/Ferrari)

FP1: 18th / 1:32.638 (18 laps)

FP2: 8th / No Time Set (7 laps)

"It's only been a few months since our last visit but being in Suzuka is always nice. Today's sessions were quite different due to the changing conditions: we gathered lots of data in the morning and gained valuable insights, while we used the rainy afternoon session for some pit stop practice. Our performance appears to be even stronger here compared to previous events, especially considering that we only ran the medium compound and used FP1 to experiment with the setup. The team here and in Hinwil has done a great job as our new package seems to be functioning as expected, and I think we should be aiming for the top ten for the rest of the weekend. We'll continue to work on the car and fine-tune the setup to ensure we're well positioned for a successful qualifying session tomorrow."

Credit: Stake F1 Team official website