July 22nd, 2022

2022 French Grand Prix - Friday

Alfa Romeo F1 Team ORLEN had a busy day of searing hot practice at the French Grand Prix, with two hours of track action at the Circuit Paul Ricard in Le Castellet. The team’s reserve driver, Robert Kubica, stepped in the car alongside Zhou Guanyu in the opening session, before the Pole handed the wheel back to Valtteri Bottas for the final session of the day.


Valtteri Bottas (car number 77):
Alfa Romeo F1 Team ORLEN C42 (Chassis 01/Ferrari)
FP1: Did not take part
FP2: 12th / 1:34.264 (27 laps)

“Stepping into the car at the beginning of FP2, it took me a few laps to get into the rhythm but I had a good feeling with the car straight away. The midfield seems even closer than usual, and I have a feeling there’s a lot more to come, both from the car and myself. I am looking forward to qualifying: I think we have a good chance of doing well.”


Zhou Guanyu (car number 24):
Alfa Romeo F1 Team ORLEN C42 (Chassis 02/Ferrari)
FP1: 11th / 1:35.676 (21 laps)
FP2: 17th / 1:34.654 (26 laps)

“It has been quite a smooth day for me; we went through the whole programme we had set out to achieve without issues. It was very hot out there, very tricky in terms of managing the tyres, but it’s the same for everyone and the key will be to find the best way to set the car up. FP1 has been very good and I was very comfortable, while in FP2, where we tried something different on the two cars, I personally struggled a little bit: however, I reckon the direction we need to take for tomorrow is clear, so I am looking forward to qualifying. Looking at our performances today, I think we look stronger than in Austria, so it’s a good step up, but then again it is once again super tight in the midfield battle, and tyres will make the difference: it will be all about getting laps together in qualifying and trying to avoid getting into traffic. Tomorrow will be a challenge and Sunday will be too, given the heat and the temperature, but I can’t wait to put myself in the game.”


Robert Kubica (car number 88):
Alfa Romeo F1 Team ORLEN C42 (Chassis 01/Ferrari)
FP1: 19th / 1:36.332 (19 laps)
FP2: Did not take part

“It’s been a busy session on my side of the garage: we had quite a lot of boxes to tick in these 60 minutes, from rake runs for data at the beginning of the session to a tight schedule of runs later in the hour. It was definitely warm out there and not the easiest conditions: still, it is always nice to drive a Formula One car and help the team with learning the set-up for the track. The feeling with the car was quite different from my previous outings, perhaps because of the heat: it will be interesting to go through the data with the engineers and understand better what we encountered, to make the car better for tomorrow and the rest of the weekend.”