Formula 1

Valtteri Bottas: “I think I have a realistic chance to keep my Q3 streak going”

2 Mins read
Credit: Antonin Vincent / DPPI

Valtteri Bottas says he has hope that his run of over one hundred consecutive Q3 appearances can continue this weekend in Australia after a strong looking day for the Alfa Romeo F1 Team ORLEN driver on Friday.

Bottas has made it into Q3 on both of his previous appearances with his new team, and it is one hundred and two in a row for the Finn, a record he is proud of and one he wants to continue this weekend at Albert Park.

The former Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team driver finished tenth fastest in the morning session at the revised Albert Park track, but he improved to seventh in the afternoon, which adds to his confidence about continuing his amazing run.

“I am pretty happy about where we are and I think I have a realistic chance to keep my Q3 streak going – I don’t want to give up on that!” said Bottas.  “That’s our goal, if we set the car up right tonight we should be fighting for a place in the top ten.

“We were able to run with different compounds today and the way they work reflect pretty much what we expected, so we are confident we can use them well, and I didn’t suffer from too much degradation, which is a positive.

“Overall, I am pleased – I also really like the new track layout. It’s fast, overtaking should be easier but not too easy: I think they did a good job.”

“If we put our lap together, we should be in a good place” – Zhou Guanyu

For team-mate Zhou Guanyu, it was the Chinese drivers’ first time in Australia, and the first track in 2022 that he has needed to learn having competed in both Bahrain and Saudi Arabia in FIA Formula 2.

Zhou had a steady day behind the wheel of his C42-Ferrari, ending fifteenth fastest in both sessions, but he admits driving the track for the first time was a much different experience to what he had in the simulator ahead of the event.

However, Zhou believes that the challenge is one he can overcome, and he says that the car feels quite competitive at this stage of the weekend, which gives him hope for the rest of his time in Australia.

“The first impact with this track was quite interesting, probably not quite what I imagined it would be,” said Zhou.  “I did a lot of running in the simulator, but it’s only when you’re actually here that you notice how close you are to the grass and how tiny and narrow the track is.

“It’s a tricky layout but I am enjoying it: it’s nice to drive and I’m getting into a rhythm. I am still learning about the car, about the engineering, and how to get the most out of everything throughout the weekend: to also have to learn a new track is an added challenge, but I like it – it’s not a big issue.

“Our pace looks competitive, I am optimistic for tomorrow. We still have a lot of work to do with the engineers, so hopefully we can find something more overnight. If we put our lap together, we should be in a good place.”

Zhou Guanyu was fifteenth in both sessions on Friday – Credit: Florent Gooden / DPPI
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Thirty-something motorsport fanatic, covering Formula 1, Formula Renault 2.0 and Formula 3. Feel free to give him a follow on Twitter at @Paul11MSport.
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