July 23rd, 2022

2022 French Grand Prix - Saturday

Alfa Romeo F1 Team ORLEN will start tomorrow’s French Grand Prix in P11 and P16. On a hot summer day in Le Castellet, Valtteri Bottas brought his C42 into Q2, while team-mate, Zhou Guanyu, saw his final Q1 attempt compromised and bowed out in the first segment of the session.

Frédéric Vasseur, Team Principal:
“We’ll start tomorrow’s French Grand Prix in P11 and P16, positions that will give us a good chance to fight for the points. Today’s results are not what we hoped to achieve at the start of the day, but it’s not the end of our weekend and there’s still plenty to fight for. We expected the whole field, particularly the middle, to be incredibly close and this has proven to be the case: the margins were very small and we weren’t able to be at the sharper end of the battle. Still, there’s a long day ahead of us tomorrow: we will be making up a couple of places with the various penalties, and we know there can be overtakes here. We will prepare our race to be able to fight our way back into the points and I am confident we can still give a good account of ourselves.”

Valtteri Bottas (car number 77):

Alfa Romeo F1 Team ORLEN C42 (Chassis 01/Ferrari)
FP3: 14th / 1:33.872 (20 laps)
Q1: 1:33.034 (7 laps)
Q2: 13th / 1:33.0522 (6 laps)

“It was a good session and starting in P11 tomorrow gives some good opportunities. It was a shame that we had to use two new sets of tires in Q1, and one in Q2, it seems like we are just missing a couple of tenths to be in the top ten in qualifying but otherwise it was a good performance. I hope we can make a step forward with the race pace tomorrow, in the worst case it will only be a bit better than in qualifying. It is hard to predict how the tyres will drop off with these temperatures. In general, I’m happy from my side: my laps were good, just missing a bit of pace. We tend to make progress in the race, with the penalties to Sainz and Magnussen we start from P11 which still should allow us to get into the points.”

Zhou Guanyu (car number 24):
Alfa Romeo F1 Team ORLEN C42 (Chassis 02/Ferrari)
FP3: 15th / 1:33.911 (19 laps)
Q1: 18th / 1:33.674 (8 laps)

“Given how we prepared for qualifying, I was definitely expecting more. In the end, I struggled with balance the whole session: Q1 was not ideal, the lack of grip was a big surprise, and that prevented me from having a clean lap at all. On top of it, I made a few mistakes in sector two during my first run and nearly lost the car in Turn Six on the second one. The lack of rear end was a bit frustrating, and we will have to investigate on that. I think where we are is not where we should be today; tyre management will be tough tomorrow, but I reckon there will be plenty of opportunities for us, especially from P16. The main goal, as always, is to bring both cars in the points, and everything is to play for.”