2024 Formula 1 Chinese Grand Prix Highlights


Kick Sauber F1 Team


Stake F1 Team KICK Sauber completed a thrilling and emotional 2024 Formula 1 Chinese Grand Prix weekend, as Zhou Guanyu and the team wrote a page of motorsport history in Shanghai. Zhou fought through the field to record 14th position, pushed along by the incredible support of the home crowd; Valtteri Bottas raced hard to finish in the top ten, but his quest for a point ended with a technical issue when in contention for a strong result.

With improving pace and consistency on and off the track, the team will keep working ahead of the next race, which is in Miami in two weeks.

Valtteri Bottas

Today marks a somewhat disappointing ending to a very promising weekend: starting from P10 put me in an excellent position to fight for points, and the race was going well overall until I suddenly lost drive and my engine turned off – something we’ll have to investigate in the upcoming days thoroughly. It’s pretty unfortunate; while there was still a long way to go, I was fighting with Nico [Hülkenberg], who made it to the points. It’s tough to accept, but this is racing, and many more opportunities will arise: our pace is improving, and as a team, we’re constantly making small steps on many fronts. We’ve been around P10 the entire weekend and were able to learn a lot about our car and the upgrades that will allow us to maximise our potential. As we keep making those steps, I’m looking forward to racing in Miami again, a track I have enjoyed a lot in the last few years.

Zhou Guanyu

This weekend has been a fantastic experience: for years, I dreamt about racing at home, and finally, I could do it. To see the passion and the love from everyone in the stands was something I’d never experienced before: the in-lap, in particular, was something I won’t ever forget, seeing so many people cheering and shouting your name. I ensured I waved at each grandstand, at every corner with fans. As much as I treated this as a regular race weekend, the emotion was undeniable, and it really got me in the end, especially when I stopped in Parc Ferme: it was a special moment, topping off the honour of being the first ever Chinese driver to race in a Chinese Grand Prix. The race was tough, especially in the first stint, where I didn’t have a lot of grip and slid all over the place, but we managed to recover well. Finishing the race isn’t what makes me happy – it’s to do so, fighting my way through the field, giving everything and leaving nothing behind. Unfortunately, starting from the back, we knew breaking into the points would be difficult, but we can focus on some positives, such as our pace and, of course, the significant improvement done by the team and the crew in the pit stops, which were primarily clean. In the end, we chose to go for a cheeky stint on softs: we knew we’d be able to keep the position we were in if we didn’t stop, so we gambled on switching to softs and see if we could improve even more. We did a lot of overtakes; the car felt good, and it was nice to fight my way through. Given the pressure of this weekend, I am happy with the job I have done. The whole weekend was positive; yesterday afternoon and today were a bit tougher, but we gave it all.

Alessandro Alunni Bravi, Team Representative

This hasn’t been the race we expected. It hasn’t been the race we wanted. Before going into the race analysis, it’s worth acknowledging the vital page that Zhou and the team have written for the history of motorsport and Formula One in China. Testament to this is the support of all the spectators throughout the weekend, from Thursday onwards: it was something impressive that exceeded our expectations. We saw how much the popularity of Formula One is increasing in China thanks to Zhou, and we’re proud that our team could be part of this with him. We expected a tough race for him, starting 16th, but he had a good pace and fought well in the many battles he had. In the closing stages, we adopted an aggressive strategy, switching to soft tyres to give him more performance. Unfortunately, there were no points for him today, but it was necessary to show he could fight and be competitive against the cars around him. It was a disappointing end of the race for Valtteri, who was fighting with Nico [Hülkenberg] for a place in the top ten. He had a solid opening stint on medium tyres, and the choice to move to hards was the right one: unfortunately, his race was cut short by a drivetrain issue, something we will investigate. It was a big disappointment as he had the pace to finish in the points, which would have been a deserved result for him and the team. Finally, a positive side to today’s race was the consistency in our pit stops, in which we achieved our target for this weekend. It’s an improvement that will also give confidence to our pit crew. Now, we set our sights on Miami, aware we can go there for a strong weekend.

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