2024 Chinese Grand Prix – Sunday


2024 Canadian Grand Prix - Sunday.jpg

Stake F1 Team KICK Sauber saw the chequered flag in a dramatic Canadian Grand Prix. In a race that went from wet to dry and then did it all again, Valtteri Bottas and Zhou Guanyu – both starting from the pit lane after changing their cars' rear wings – kept their cool in difficult conditions and on a silppery track but could only make up ground enough to finish in 13th and 15th place.  

The team will now return to Europe for regrouping and preparing for the next races – a testing triple-header in Spain, Austria and Great Britain. 

Alessandro Alunni Bravi, Team Representative: "Following yesterday's difficult qualifying session, we opted to change setup on both cars this morning, to try and maximise any opportunity in case of a wet race. We changed the rear wing, aiming for a high downforce level – a risk that we decided to take as we looked for opportunities to fight for points. Considering how the race developed, from a weather point of view, it was the correct decision, although our performance ultimately didn't allow us to fight closer to the top ten. With Valtteri, we decided to stay out during the first Safety Car period, as his intermediate tyres were in good condition. This allowed him to recover positions and place himself in thirteenth place; he then pitted for a new set of mediums but struggled more to bring the tyres to the right temperature, losing some ground and eventually not managing to stay close to those in front during the final part of the race. Zhou endured a much more difficult race, facing similar problems with tyre temperatures; he found himself alone for most of the race, finding it difficult to benefit from DRS and getting a proper reference. It's been an overall difficult weekend for him, especially after a tough Monaco: we will now work closely to examine everything that didn't work out and to help him to come back to Barcelona on a new page. Despite a lack of performance, and no points to our name after nine races, we are not giving up, and are determined to analyse our performance and identify all areas in which to improve. Both trackside and back home in Hinwil, we are keen on progressing together." 

Valtteri Bottas (car number 77): 

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

Race result: 13th  

Fastest lap: 1:17.250 (Lap 65) 

Strategy & Pit Stops: Start (New Intermediate) – Lap 42 (New Medium) 

"Today hasn't been the easiest day in the office. We went for a set-up change to make the car more suitable to these weather conditions, and I think it was the right thing to do – as always, it was good to give it a try, as it allowed us to unlock a bit more downforce. Staying out while on intermediate tyres was the correct move; we tried to be aggressive later with the slicks, but we possibly went a lap too early. We eventually didn't make it into the top ten today, and I don't feel like we could have achieved much more than this with our pace – our on-track progress was more due to other cars making mistakes or retiring. Looking ahead, we need to keep working on bringing updates to make our car faster; we do have bigger upgrades lined up, and I'm positive that's the key to progress. Barcelona will be close as well, and we know we have work to do ahead of it: getting back into Q2 will be the first step, and then we'll work up from there."

Zhou Guanyu (car number 24): 

Stake F1 Team KICK Sauber C44 (Chassis 04/Ferrari) 

Race result: 15th  

Fastest lap: 1:17.325 (Lap 68) 

Strategy & Pit Stops: Start (New Intermediate) – Lap 24 (New Intermediate) – Lap 44 (New Medium) - Lap 52 (New Medium) 

"Today has proven to be another tough race for us, on top of what has overall been a challenging weekend. While there was quite a lot going on during the race, it's been a lonely race for me, especially in the second half. Similarly to Monaco, I didn't feel too confident with the car, especially in terms of braking and cornering. Coming out of a weekend like this, we'll need to sit down and investigate our issues, to address them ahead of Barcelona."

Credit: Stake F1 Team KICK Sauber official website