2024 Austrian Grand Prix - Friday

Sprint Qualifying


Spielberg, 28 June 2024 – Stake F1 Team KICK Sauber couldn't make the most of a hectic Sprint Qualifying at the Austrian Grand Prix. The short, quick Spielberg circuit produced a difficult day for the team, with both Valtteri Bottas and Zhou Guanyu bowing out in the first part of the grid-setting session for the Sprint. With points limited to the first eight places in tomorrow morning's race, this will be a tall order for the team – but the learnings from today's session will prove useful in setting the car up for tomorrow's Qualifying session.

Alessandro Alunni Bravi, Team Representative: "Today we experienced a disappointing Sprint Qualifying session, one that brings us back to the bottom of the grid. We need to understand why we were not able to continue the positive trajectory that started last weekend in Barcelona. On a track like Spielberg, with short lap times, there is no allowance for any mistake, and we've seen that especially the last sector is crucial. Today, we missed something, both in terms of the last sector performance and of clean laps, and that jeopardised our session."

Valtteri Bottas (car number 77):

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

FP1: 15th / 1:06.925 (29 laps)

SQ1: 18th / 1:06.725 (6 laps)

"The feeling with the car had been quite decent so far, and I was expecting our lap times to be better; I had two clean laps, and although the second one was deleted because of track limits, it wouldn't have made much of a different, as it was only two hundredths of a second faster. Unfortunately, we are still quite lacking when it comes to single-lap pace. Tomorrow's Sprint will be a tough job starting from the back of the grid, especially in a short race with no pit stops, but we will still have a chance to go for a set-up change afterwards. We'll put all our focus on maximising these learnings, looking to improve our performance in tomorrow's main Qualifying and on Sunday."

Zhou Guanyu (car number 24):

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

FP1: 14th / 1:06.919 (28 laps)

SQ1: 20th / 1:07.197 (6 laps)

"While we used the morning's practice session to collect some information and data, today's sprint qualifying was quite messy for me. I only had two laps: I ended up running wide into the gravel on the first one and encountered heavy traffic on the second. This made it difficult to get a good time on the board as the tyres were gone after the first attempt. However, looking ahead to tomorrow, I reckon that we should have more pace and shall be stronger than we were today – our focus is now on qualifying proper."

Credit: Stake F1 Team KICK Sauber official website