Alfa Romeo F1 Team ORLEN got its first taste of Miami action as it completed two sessions of free practice for the newest race in the calendar, the Miami Grand Prix. The team closed the day firmly in the top ten, with Zhou Guanyu recording the eighth fastest time in FP2, although a crash for Valtteri Bottas in FP1 means there will be some catching up to do in the final practice session tomorrow afternoon.
Valtteri Bottas (car number 77):
Alfa Romeo F1 Team ORLEN C42 (Chassis 01/Ferrari)
FP1: 17th / 1:33.773 (13 laps)
FP2: Did not take part
"It's annoying to miss out on most of the day, but there is still a long way to go in this weekend. Unfortunately, I went slightly on the dirtier part of the track and lost the rear, and when that happens you cannot catch the car back. We damaged the exhaust and the turbo and it was impossible to get the car fixed in time for FP2. It means we need to really maximise the last hour of practice tomorrow: thankfully, the team has made good progress with Zhou and it seems the set-up direction we have taken, with the changes the team made on his car for FP2, is the right one. For what I could experience, the track is good fun: it's technical and challenging, but nice to drive, and the twisty section towards the end is definitely difficult to get right. I think they did a good job in designing a track that should offer good overtaking opportunities, so hopefully the racing will be fun. The focus for me, however, is to catch up on the time we lost today."
Zhou Guanyu (car number 24):
Alfa Romeo F1 Team ORLEN C42 (Chassis 02/Ferrari)
FP1: 13th / 1:33.020 (23 laps)
FP2: 8th / 1:30.860 (24 laps)
"I am pretty happy with how the day has gone, especially with the progress we have made between FP1 and FP2. It was quite tricky out there: it's fun to go to new tracks, but of course the surface is always an issue at the beginning of the weekend. It was very, very slippery, we do expect it to evolve a lot, but we have to find out exactly how much tomorrow. I quite enjoyed driving here today, it was a challenge but it was interesting. For me, especially with Valtteri not being able to do FP2, it was key to get as many laps in as possible to get as much data as we could: in that regard, we did well and we have enough to work with to prepare for qualifying. My objective for tomorrow is not changing: I want to keep progressing, make it to Q2 and then do the best I can to see how far high I can get."