Formula 1

“We can be happy we made our opportunities count as a team” – Valtteri Bottas

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Credit: Xavi Bonilla / DPPI

Valtteri Bottas says climbing from twelfth on the grid to score points in the Monaco Grand Prix meant it was not a bad day for Alfa Romeo F1 Team ORLEN, with the Finn again impressing with another strong performance on Sunday.

Bottas was off the pace in Saturday’s Qualifying session but stayed out on trouble on Sunday amid the difficult conditions at the Circuit de Monaco, and the strategy calls made by the team enabled him to jump into a points-paying position.

He finished on the road in tenth but profited from Esteban Ocon’s penalty for a collision with Lewis Hamilton to move up to ninth to score his sixth top ten finish in seven races.

“It’s been a pretty long race, but we can be happy we made our opportunities count as a team,” said Bottas.  “It was really easy to make mistakes out there and I am glad we didn’t: gaining positions in Monaco is never easy, so to end up in the points from P12 on the grid means it wasn’t a bad day.

“We made the right strategic calls, which was a challenge as it was not easy to choose which tyres to pick at any time.

“We took some calculated risks and they paid off.”

“I think we achieved the maximum we could get” – Zhou Guanyu

Team-mate Zhou Guanyu always knew that his Sunday in Monaco was going to be difficult after starting right at the back of the pack after a poor display in Qualifying, but he kept the car out of the wall and brought it home in sixteenth place.

Zhou had a few wild moments, none wilder than when he almost spun exiting the tunnel whilst attacking Scuderia AlphaTauri’s Yuki Tsunoda, but it was good experience for a driver still trying to find his feet within the FIA Formula 1 World Championship.

The Chinese driver found himself on the back of the train behind Fernando Alonso in the latter stages and was on the same kind of pace as those ahead of him, so he was happy with his performance even though the result was far from ideal.

“It was a challenging Sunday, but I think we achieved the maximum we could get,” Zhou said.  “Part of the race was just about surviving, defending hard in the wet – especially when we had to keep going on the wet tyres on a drying track to make our strategy work.

“It was a good experience to race here in these conditions, my only scare was when I had a snap fighting Tsunoda, but I saved it.

“The Monaco experience as a whole was tough, but I didn’t do any mistakes and I was matching the pace of the cars in the midfield, so I can be satisfied about that.”

Zhou Guanyu was always up against it starting twentieth and last on the grid – Credit: Julien Delfosse / 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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