November 3rd, 2023

2023 Brazilian Grand Prix - Friday

Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake couldn’t match last week’s Saturday performance in qualifying for the Brazilian Grand Prix, with Valtteri Bottas and Zhou Guanyu setting the 18th and 20th fastest times in Q1. The result will make for a challenging Sunday, but the team will aim to bounce back immediately, with another chance to improve in tomorrow’s Shootout and Sprint. 

Alessandro Alunni Bravi, Team Representative: “We saw from the morning that qualifying would be a difficult session. The gap between the top 15 cars was less than a second, and you could calculate the difference between making it through Q1 and falling out in an order of thousandths of a second. We tried to improve our setup between FP1 and Qualifying, increasing the downforce levels to take into account the possibility of changing conditions during the event. Of course, 18th and 20th is a disappointing result and we will need to improve for the rest of the weekend: starting tomorrow, in the shootout and sprint, we need to unlock some more performance and improve our positions. In the end, the margins are so small: we saw teams that were very competitive in Mexico last week fall out alongside us in Q1, which shows how easy it is for performance to swing. We need to work hard: there’s not a single area to improve, we need to improve under every aspect to fight for the points.” 

Valtteri Bottas (car number 77):

Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake C43 (Chassis 02/Ferrari)
FP: 17th / 1:13.012 (31 laps)
Q1: 18th / 1:10.955 (9 laps) 

“We haven’t been able to make it past Q1 today, which is quite unfortunate, as we think our pace could have allowed us to get into a better fight. Unfortunately, margins are so small that any minor difference can have a huge impact in terms of position – and we saw that today, when we missed the cut for less than two tenths. Starting from the second-to-last row on Sunday surely isn’t ideal; we have some work to ahead of tomorrow, but we have seen before how unpredictable races can get here: with a decent start and an aggressive strategy, we could still have a chance to charge through the field.” 

Zhou Guanyu (car number 24):
Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake C43 (Chassis 01/Ferrari)
FP: 8th / 1:12.481 (27 laps)
Q1: 20th / 1:11.275 (9 laps) 

“Unfortunately, we struggled more than usual today: it’ll be crucial to do our homework overnight to find more performance ahead of tomorrow’s Sprint and, most importantly, Sunday’s race. We gave everything but we never felt we had the speed to gain more time and make the cut for Q2. Hopefully, we can make an improvement tomorrow already, although it will be sort of a standalone day. Starting from the back on Sunday will be challenging, but if we make the right calls, we may still be able to get in the mix.”