2024 Austrian Grand Prix – Sunday



Spielberg, 30 June 2024 – Stake F1 Team KICK Sauber fought through a hot afternoon at the Austrian Grand Prix, with Valtteri Bottas and Zhou Guanyu coming to the chequered flag unscathed but outside the points. Despite the team showing an improved turn of pace compared to yesterday's sprint, the team duo finished in 16th and 17th place respectively.

The team will now head to the birthplace of Formula One, Silverstone, for the final leg of the European triple-header.

Alessandro Alunni Bravi, Team Representative: "We knew our starting positions would likely compromise our eventual classification, unless any special circumstance outside of our control would intervene: indeed, we weren't able to make up much ground. Still, we can take some positives from today's race, in particular in comparison to yesterday's Sprint: we did a much better job at managing our tyres, and we controlled the overheating on both axles better, which was a massive issue in the Sprint. We were consistent with both the medium and hard compounds and, when it came to pace, we were not far from rivals like Aston Martin, Williams and Tsunoda. Of course, there's still a lot of work to do to recover the gap and fight for points, but today was a small step in the right direction. The changes we made to Zhou's car, which meant he started from the pit lane, made him more comfortable, while Valtteri was closer to Stroll, Tsunoda and Albon from lap one. In terms of strategy, we split the cars to make use of all new sets of tyres available, and, considering our starting positions, that was the best decision. We started on hards with Zhou and were able to extend his second stint on mediums to give him a more consistent pace. With Valtteri, we wanted to extend the first stint on mediums as much as possible in order not to compromise the remaining two on hards. We eventually reached our targets this afternoon: we know these are just marginal ones, but the team must continue thinking that, if we push all together, if we are aggressive and able to do more in every area, we can get to the points. It's not time to give up, but to react like we did between yesterday and today. We saw our competitors score points, especially Haas, and that's not ideal for our championship fight, but that goes to show that, if we can find more performance starting from the next race in Silverstone, there will be opportunities to be seized in the remaining races."

Valtteri Bottas (car number 77):

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

Race result: 16th

Fastest lap: 1:10.449 (Lap 48)

Strategy & Pit Stops: Start (New Medium) – Lap 19 (New Hard) – Lap 42 (New Hard)

"Despite everything, I think this race has been our best session this weekend; there wasn't much action where I was but, pace-wise, it felt a bit better than in the Sprint, and this allowed us to be slightly closer to our main competitors. We also managed to keep the tyres in a much better window, which surely helped, although they are still quite sensitive to overheating in these temperatures. We still need to find that extra boost for Silverstone: of course, we're not just after a short-term fix, but it's good to see that gaps remain small. I do think the direction to follow is clear; we need to move forward with introducing new parts, of course, as we have seen the difference they have been making for the other teams. Looking at Silverstone, on a different track layout, I reckon there should be opportunities for us: what will be important, is to be at the top of our game to make the most of them."

Zhou Guanyu (car number 24):

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

Race result: 17th

Fastest lap: 1:10.470 (Lap 54)

Strategy & Pit Stops: Start (New Hard) – Lap 28 (New Medium) – Lap 51 (New Hard)

"It's been a tricky weekend for us with a rather uneventful race for me today. Due to some set-up changes that took us into a different direction, I had to start today's race from the pit lane. Unfortunately, we lacked pace to make up more positions, and it seems our tyres are overheating quicker than our competitors' - even if we managed that better today. We know our weaknesses and need to work hard as a team – trackside as well as back in Hinwil – to improve both our one lap pace and race pace. It's the last stop of the triple header next and there is no time to rest as we look ahead to next weekend. It's not uncommon to experience varying performance on different tracks, so I hope we'll be closer to the fight for points again in Silverstone."

Credit: Stake F1 Team KICK Sauber official website