Formula 1

“The gap to the cars in front is not that big!” – Valtteri Bottas

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Credit: Florent Gooden / DPPI

Valtteri Bottas has a great chance of scoring some strong points at the Spanish Grand Prix, after qualifying in seventh-place at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.

After missing out on some Friday running due to a technical fault, the Alfa Romeo F1 Team ORLEN driver made strong progress throughout Saturday, and fully deserved his seventh-place start. Bottas qualified as ‘best of the rest’, with the three main teams locking-out the top six. Bottas claimed seventh spot with a 1:19.608, nine-tenths behind polesitter Charles Leclerc.

Bottas is delighted with his performance, especially as he predicts overtaking to be difficult during the race.

“I am happy about today’s result, we had a strong qualifying and we are in a really good place for tomorrow. In theory, we didn’t expect this track to suit us too well, but I think the upgrades gave us a good step forward in terms of performance. We had a solid FP3, which allowed us to make up some of the ground we lost yesterday, and we were quite consistent in each run throughout the day.

“I am glad we qualified well as I don’t think it will be easy to overtake on this track: I think P7 was the best result we could get today so I am happy we have achieved it – actually, the gap to the cars in front is not that big! Our car is usually better in the race, so we could be in for a good Sunday.”

“We definitely have the pace to fight for the top ten” – Guanyu Zhou

Guanyu Zhou will start in fifteenth on Sunday, following a disappointing qualifying. Zhou used three-sets of new soft tyres during Qualifying 1, meaning he had no fresh soft tyres for Qualifying 2 putting the Chinese rookie at an immediate disadvantage.

Zhou has driven well so far this weekend, and actually would’ve gotten into the second part of qualifying without setting a time on his third set of softs.

Despite the disappointment, Zhou is confident he has the pace to finish in the points.

“I’m optimistic about tomorrow’s race, as we definitely have the pace to fight for the top ten, but I’m convinced we could have battled for P10 or P11 today. We wanted to avoid the situation we had in Miami, where we got stuck in traffic at the end of Q1, so we chose to go for three runs on soft tyres in the first part of qualifying.

“It was the safe choice although, in hindsight, my second lap would have been enough to get into Q2. The second segment was always going to be tricky, with no fresh tyres, but that is what we had and we got the most out of it. We’ll aim to make up some ground tomorrow and end in the top ten at the end of the day.”

Credit: Florent Gooden / DPPI
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