July 22nd, 2023

2023 Hungarian Grand Prix - Saturday

Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake recorded its best team qualifying performance since the 2012 season as Zhou Guanyu stormed his way to fifth place on the grid for the Hungarian Grand Prix, with team-mate, Valtteri Bottas, setting the seventh fastest time. It was a brilliant team performance as Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake made the most of the new tyre compound regulations, introduced for this event, and extracted the most out of the C43, sporting the updates introduced last time out in Silverstone. The Hungaroring has produced surprises and upsets in recent years, and Zhou and Valtteri will head out into tomorrow’s race with the aim to maintain their qualifying position, fighting for any improvement, as we target a double-points finish.

Alessandro Alunni Bravi, Team Representative: “We are very happy about today’s result, which is a good reward for the work done by our team, both trackside and back home in Hinwil, and by our drivers. Of course, we are fully aware that this is only Qualifying, although on a track like this one, starting positions are important looking into Sunday. This is just half of the job, and we all will need to execute a perfect race tomorrow: we have a great opportunity to score points, and we know how tight the competition is. By fine tuning the upgrades we introduced in Silverstone, we were able to unlock that extra performance our cars needed to make a step forward: qualifying in fifth and seventh place today has been confirmation of the effort put in at the factory over the recent weeks. I want to pay tribute to Zhou and Valtteri, for having showed such strong performances throughout Q1, Q2, and Q3, as well as to our team, who got the most out of the Alternative Tyre Allocation introduced this weekend. The use of the hard compound during FP3 has been fundamental in granting us access to Q2, and we were subsequently able to build up on this performance during the entire session. Now, we must all keep focused, as our work is not yet complete: we surely have a good reason to be happy with ourselves today, and we will make sure to carry this motivation into tomorrow’s race, which is when it counts.”

Valtteri Bottas (car number 77):
Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake C43 (Chassis 02/Ferrari)
FP3: 10th / 1:18.489 (24 laps)
Q1: 1:18.775 (8 laps)
Q2: 1:17.563 (6 laps)
Q3: 7th / 1:17.034 (6 laps)

“I am really proud of the whole team today, and positively surprised about how good our performances have been: we saw that we had realistic chances to get into the top ten, but fifth and seventh went even beyond our expectations. We have been strong throughout the whole qualifying session, with all the compounds, and managed to extract the full potential from our cars: the track layout seems to suit us and allowed us to get the most out of our package. Of course, the work is only halfway done, and points will be awarded tomorrow: still, overtaking is not easy here, and that should help our cause with the positions we locked in today. The results we brought home today are a good reward for the team both trackside and back home in Hinwil, for the job done in the recent weeks.”

Zhou Guanyu (car number 24):
Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake C43 (Chassis 03/Ferrari)
FP3: 12th / 1:18.544 (23 laps)
Q1: 1:18.143 (10 laps)
Q2: 1:17.700 (6 laps)
Q3: 5th / 1:16.971 (6 laps)

“It feels good, very good, to be lining up on the grid in fifth place tomorrow. I felt comfortable from the first lap onwards, but still, I did not really expect to even finish Q1 in P1. My first run was quite rough, but then we subsequently managed to execute at the top of our performances up to the end of Q3. I am very happy with the job done today, I knew I had to do a big step in my final push lap since my previous one had gotten deleted, and we did it, all together. Overall, I would say this track layout suits our car well, which gives us great motivation ahead of tomorrow’s race. The team did an amazing job, and I am glad we got both cars into the top ten: we were not happy with the performance we extracted from the new package after Silverstone, but we all worked hard in order to further optimise it, and these results prove it. We were already looking quite strong yesterday, and after having further analysed the data overnight, we found that extra push that allowed us to get through Q2 and Q3. Now, all of our focus will go into keeping up with this performance tomorrow, when it matters: hopefully, we’ll be able to end the weekend as we started it, and add new points to our tally.