2024 Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix Highlights


Kick Sauber F1 Team


KICK Sauber F1 Team saw the team’s convincing pace come to nothing as technical issues relegated Valtteri Bottas and Zhou Guanyu to 14th and 15th place, respectively. After a strong start that saw Valtteri fight within reach of the points and Zhou, starting from the pit lane, rapidly catch up with the pack, it was a frustrating end to the afternoon for the team: work remains to be done, but the progress in performance is at least a positive that will continue to motivate the team to push hard and resolve the outstanding issues.

Valtteri Bottas

It’s never great to see a good race come to nothing: it’s frustrating as, until the pit stop, things were going really well. We had a good start, and most importantly, we had a strong pace, so we should have gotten points. It’s apparent that we still have to work to solve the issues affecting us: what we have done so far has reduced the incidence a lot, but the risk is still there – as we have seen today. There’s an element of bad luck there, and there’s nothing the pit crew could have done differently; it’s a technical issue that needs to be solved. We can still find some positives – our performance is improving, we have made a step forward with the team’s upgrades, and we should have been on the right track. We were fighting with Fernando in the opening stages, and I believe P8 or P9 would have been within reach. We keep working hard: more upgrades will come soon, and I think we can make an even bigger step in Japan.

Zhou Guanyu

This weekend was a difficult one. Starting from the pit lane is always tricky, and being stuck in a DRS train made it difficult for me to overtake. Some points were up for grabs for the team today, but unfortunately, we did not manage to be up there fighting for them. During my second pit stop, I experienced an issue outside of my control related to my gearbox – when I called for the gear, the car stalled, which cost me plenty of time. Our race pace looked solid and competitive with the teams around us. It’s been a lost opportunity, but we’ll continue our work to bounce back in Suzuka as a team.

Alessandro Alunni Bravi, Team Representative

First of all, we need to apologise to our drivers, especially to Valtteri, who in the first part of the race showed he could match the top ten drivers and was clearly fighting for a points finish, thanks to a good start and intense pace. As we said before the race, we had implemented mitigation measures for our pit stop issue, something that has improved the situation but, as we have seen, not completely solved the problem: what happened to Valtteri is a slightly different, but linked, issue compared to what happened in Bahrain or Saudi Arabia, but one for which we paid a really high price and that wholly ruined Valtteri’s race. We clearly lost an ample opportunity to score points, as he would have been there or thereabout with Tsunoda by the end of the race. Starting from the pit lane, Zhou had a different issue as we saw problems with his gearbox throughout the race: when he came to the pits, he could not select the gear before the car finally stalled. It was not the driver’s fault but another frustrating circumstance that damaged our race. As a team, we must take responsibility when these things happen: it’s the only way to improve. It’s really tough not to score points when we have the potential to do it. As we saw, we had the performance to be ahead of Haas, RB, and our other direct competitors. We need to keep working hard, even harder, to fix these problems. We regroup, stay united with our drivers and team back home in Hinwil and trackside, and together we do all we can to come back stronger in the next race.

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