Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake brought back one important point from the 2023 Formula 1 Canadian Grand Prix, as Valtteri Bottas made up four positions to finish within the top ten at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve. The Finn executed a solid race, supported by a good reverse strategy that saw him move up the rankings, eventually missing out on a tenth place on the road to Lance Stroll in the final metres of the race. His P10 was immediately restored as Lando Norris, ahead, received a five-second penalty that relegated him behind Valtteri.
It was a more challenging race for Zhou Guanyu, who endured a more difficult race, starting from the back of the grid. The Chinese driver still managed to extract good speed from his C43 and was involved in several battles for position, making up four places and finishing P16.
The point scored today brings Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake’s total to seven, allowing the team to overtake Haas in the standings, into seventh place in the Constructors’ Championship.
Valtteri Bottas (car number 77):
I am pleased with our race today: I made up four positions during the race, and it’s always a good day when that happens, especially when you get a top-ten finish, which had been our main goal all weekend long. It could have been P9, but my tyres began to wear out towards the end of the race, and Lance [Stroll] got me on the finish line. Still, I think it is safe to say we executed a solid race today, and a good strategy as well; since Monaco, we have been making decent progress, and it’s proof of all the hard work put in by the team back home in Hinwil. Even though we are bringing home only one point today, it’s a reward and a motivation boost to keep hunting for more. Now, it will be important to keep working in this direction and focus on improving our Saturday performance. There are still some steps forward to make, and I am confident we can achieve this all together.
Zhou Guanyu (car number 24):
We knew the race was always going to be difficult, considering where we were starting, but I still believed we had a chance to turn it around: unfortunately, we didn’t manage to take it. After the Safety Car went back in, I felt we could have gotten in the fight; we had started on the Mediums, and they were feeling pretty good. Unfortunately, the race didn’t unfold in the way we needed, and after the final pit stop, there wasn’t much we could do. There’s no denying we still hoped to improve our results, but this weekend just hasn’t been easy for us. It can happen, but it is important now to switch our focus on getting back to the good performances we have shown recently, to come prepared in two weeks’ time in Spielberg. We have seen before how anything can happen during a Sprint Weekend: if we play our cards well, we’ll be able to get back in the top ten.
Alessandro Alunni Bravi, Team Representative:
We must be happy with the one point we scored today with Valtteri, even though it’s always a bit bitter to lose one position [to Lance Stroll] with just metres to go. Still, one point can make a fundamental difference at the end of the season, and we have now scored in two races in a row. I want to thank the team for their hard work towards this result, which was not a foregone conclusion after yesterday’s qualifying session. We know Saturdays are where we need to focus our attention: a better qualifying position can allow us to fight for higher places and, ultimately, more points. In terms of race pace, our cars seem to be better, so we know the C43 as an overall package can be competitive. It was a more difficult weekend for Zhou; starting from P20, we had to try something different so we tried an alternative strategy with him to recover some ground. Nevertheless, we take this point and we get back to work to continue our streak in Spielberg in two weeks. We will race on permanent circuits until the summer break, and we are confident they can better suit our qualifying performances. We have seen, once again, how tight the battle is: one single metre could cost a position, just like one single tenth in qualifying can make the difference between Q2 and Q3: we will need to keep on working as hard as possible, both at the track and at the factory, to constantly improve.