Valtteri Bottas Pleased with “good start of the weekend”

Alfa Romeo F1 Team ORLEN had a good day on track on the final Friday of the 2022 FIA Formula 1 season at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, with Valtteri Bottas finishing in the top ten in both practice sessions and Guaynu Zhou getting in valuable laps in FP2.

Alfa Romeo are battling to keep hold of sixth place in the Constructors’ Championship ahead of the Aston Martin Aramco Cognizant Formula One Team and they have shown impressive form in the last few races of the season with front wing and floor upgrades giving them enough lap time to fend off their competitors.

Bottas finished in the top ten in both practice sessions, importantly finishing ahead of both Aston Martin’s in Practice Two. The ex-Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team driver will be hoping to qualify well, and score points this weekend and help the team cement their position in sixth place.

“We had a good start of the weekend: a smooth day without issues, in which we could do all the laps and all the tests we had planned.

The car balance felt good from the start, so we didn’t have to do big changes: we just focused on fine-tuning the car, especially in the second session as conditions were a lot closer to what we’ll have in qualifying tomorrow.

“I finished both sessions in the top ten, which is definitely a promising start: on the back of the last couple of races, where we were quite strong, it’s a good sign and hopefully we can keep this momentum going.”

Guanyu Zhou: “I’m looking forward to tomorrow”

Zhou missed out on the first practice session after missing out for Alfa Romeo’s reserve driver, Robert Kubica, but it was still an impressive day for the Chinese driver.

Zhou only had one hour to get to grips with the car and the track. His pace, most impressive in qualifying trim, was very encouraging for the team and they will be hoping both drivers can push for a spot in the third part of qualifying tomorrow afternoon.

Zhou spoke on his session and was pleased with his progress despite missing FP1.

“I am quite pleased with the day: FP2 was my first time on track here with the C42, and the car felt good right away, so it didn’t take me more than a couple of laps to find the rhythm on track. I felt quite comfortable in the short runs, and we also did a few long runs to identify any areas to tweak ahead of tomorrow.

“I am confident about our qualifying pace, and I don’t see any reason why we shouldn’t get the best out of the car and place ourselves in a good position on the grid. The upgrades we have introduced in the last few rounds keep making our car better, so I’m looking forward to tomorrow.”

Credit: Florent Gooden / DPPI