2024 Canadian Grand Prix - Saturday


2024 Canadian Grand Prix - Saturday.jpg

Montreal, 8 June 2024 – Stake F1 Team KICK Sauber missed out on Q2 in a tricky qualifying session for the Canadian Grand Prix. Valtteri Bottas went close to making the cut, but was just a few hundredths of a second shy of the 15th time, while teammate, Zhou Guanyu, closed the gap after missing FP3 this morning due to a touch with the wall but was unable to move past the final place in the standings.

Tomorrow's race in Montreal won't be easy, starting from 17th and 19th. The Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, however, is a track that lends itself to overtaking and wild races, so the team will give 100% to make up positions and make the most of any opportunity during Sunday's event.

Alessandro Alunni Bravi, Team Representative: "Today's qualifying session confirms that we are lacking performance in the single lap. We have already seen in the last races that our main competitors took a step forward, pushing us to the bottom of the midfield in terms of qualifying pace. I don't think that Valtteri could have extracted more from the car today: he had a clean lap and left nothing out there. We found a good balance but, of course, it was not enough to reach Q2, and he eventually missed out by less than one tenth of a second. As for Zhou, his qualifying was already compromised when he missed most of FP1 yesterday, as well as this morning, when he spun in FP3. He was able to recover and build up a decent pace, despite the lack of running, which should give him more confidence for tomorrow. The race will be once again difficult for us, and we must maximise every opportunity that may arise. We have previously shown that we can deliver a better race pace, but we can't hide the fact that it's another difficult weekend for us. Still, we'll do our best to improve our position tomorrow."

Valtteri Bottas (car number 77):
Stake F1 Team KICK Sauber C44 (Chassis 03/Ferrari)
FP3: 13th / 1:13.642 (32 laps)

Q1: 17th / 1:13.366 (10 laps)

"We were definitely close to Q2 today, just about hundredths of a second away from making the cut – which obviously leaves us with the feeling we could have achieved something more. The last push lap was really clean, actually the cleanest I have had this weekend so far, and the balance was decent as well; it didn't feel like we could squeeze much more out of that. In terms of track conditions, they were slippery at first, but it gradually improved. Unfortunately, we are still slightly struggling in terms of single-lap pace – that's mostly it. Going into Sunday, I think we can be a bit more optimistic: it surely is a track that offers more opportunities for a shake-up than Monaco; the field is once again super close, so it'll hopefully be an exciting race. On top of that, the weather can also play a part here – I'm rooting for mixed conditions or some rain, which would help us progress further. There will be opportunities, and we'll try the best we can to make the most of them."

Zhou Guanyu (car number 24):
Stake F1 Team KICK Sauber C44 (Chassis 04/Ferrari)
FP3: 20th / 1:18.656 (4 laps)
Q1: 20th / 1:14.292 (11 laps)

"Today was quite tricky – coming into qualifying without preparation on dry laps is never easy. During the morning session, I had a moment that ended FP3 early for me, and while I was able to gain more and more time on every qualifying lap, it wasn't enough to catch up on my missed session. The field is still very close, and I reckon we're not far off our competition but, given the lack of running, I wasn't able to find the perfect rhythm. Tomorrow is a new day, and we'll continue working to make up some ground. This is a place where overtaking is possible, and we'll give it a good go."

Credit: Stake F1 Team KICK Sauber official website