Alfa Romeo F1 Team ORLEN endured a disappointing day in Baku as Valtteri Bottas finished 11th in the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, with team-mate, Zhou Guanyu, seeing his race come to a premature end due to a technical issue when running in the points.
It’s only the second time the team fails to score points in eight races so far this season, but with the next round in Montreal in just seven days’ time, Alfa Romeo F1 Team ORLEN will have an opportunity to bounce back right away.
Valtteri Bottas (car number 77)
We came here hunting for points and we leave with none, so I am obviously not very pleased about how our weekend went. Today it felt like a very long race as we were lacking pace: I believe there was something fundamentally wrong with the car, something we need to investigate. We will need to figure out what exactly happened before we get to Montreal, but I am convinced we will understand it and address it. Other than the outright pace, we did well as a team in terms of strategy and race execution, but that wasn’t enough to bring home the points. I feel quite sorry for Zhou as he was doing a really good race prior to his retirement: today was not our day, but I am looking forward to Canada next week. It’s been a while since we raced there and it’ll be nice to be back.
Zhou Guanyu (car number 24)
It’s frustrating not to finish today, but I want to focus on the positives of my performance. Until the issue, my race had gone really well: I didn’t do any mistakes, I was competitive and I was running in the points. I had good pace and I know we could have brought home a good result. What happened is unfortunate, but the most important now is that we, as a team, solve this issue for the future so that we stop missing out on the opportunities we have. We’ll investigate what the issue is in detail and we’ll make sure we do come back stronger.
Frédéric Vasseur, Team Principal
We end our Sunday here in Baku with a feeling of disappointment, as our streak of consecutive points finishes comes to an end after five good races. It was a big blow to lose Zhou with a technical issue today: until then, he had delivered an excellent performance, without a single mistake, and he was destined for the points. He deserved a good result today, but at least we can look at his performance knowing he’s on an upward path. Valtteri had a difficult race and we have to analyse what went wrong: we weren’t able to extract performance from the car throughout the weekend, and it’s something we need to address before Montreal to make sure we return to the level we have been competing at this season.