Formula 1

Zhou Guanyu: “We’ve been clearly lacking something compared to the rest of the midfield”

3 Mins read
Credit: Alfa Romeo F1 Team Orlen

Zhou Guanyu believes that Alfa Romeo F1 Team Orlen is “clearly lacking something” in the FIA Formula 1 World Championship midfield battle after Zhou extended his point-less streak to six races at the Dutch Grand Prix.

Starting in fourteenth place, Zhou was able to maintain his starting position throughout the early stages of the race. An aggressive strategy choice from the Alfa Romeo team saw Zhou undertake his first two stints of the race on the soft compound tyre and by lap thirty-two the Chinese driver was running in twelfth place.

Zhou would eventually have to switch to the medium compound tyres and would return from the pits in fifteenth place. Zhou stated that shortly after his second pit stop, any possible progress was halted by having to slow down for a number of blue flags.

Alfa Romeo attempted to take advantage of the late safety car by pitting the twenty-three-year-old for a used set of soft tyres for the finale of the race but Zhou was unable to generate any performance out of the used set and would come home for a sixteenth-place finish.

The Swiss-based team have now failed to achieve a points finish since the Canadian Grand Prix in June and ahead of this weekend’s Italian Grand Prix, Zhou is looking for improvements to the C42 package, with Zhou hopeful the team can re-enter the battle in the midfield.

“It’s been quite a tough race today, particularly towards the end as we got slowed down a lot by all the blue flags. The late safety car also did not play in our favour, as there wasn’t much time left and we put on used softs which didn’t make it easy to charge up.

It’s been a challenging weekend overall for the team, we’ve been clearly lacking something compared to the rest of the midfield, so we will have to work hard in these few days: we need to make sure to improve ahead of Monza next week and for the rest of the season, to try and get back to where we were, performance-wise, during the first races of the year.”

Credit: Alfa Romeo F1 Team Orlen

Valtteri Bottas: “It’s always disappointing to end a race ahead of time”

Valtteri Bottas believes that a third consecutive race retirement in the 2022 Formula 1 season was down to a suspected power-unit failure today at Zandvoort. As a result of today’s early retirement, Bottas followed his teammate in extending his point-less streak to six races.

A poor showing in qualifying yesterday saw Bottas eliminated in Q1 for the second consecutive race, leaving the Finnish driver with the improbable task of salvaging a finish inside the points-paying positions.

The Alfa Romeo driver made a poor start to the race by dropping back three positions on the opening lap to nineteenth place but was then able to steady himself on the soft compound tyres and by lap fifteen found himself in tenth place.

Bottas operated the same aggressive strategy as his teammate around Zandvoort, opting for two stints on the soft tyres before looking to finish the race on a set of medium tyres. With the ten-time race winner running in thirteenth-place, disaster struck for Bottas as a suspected engine failure saw the Finn come to a stop on lap fifty-five on the start/finish straight.

Despite his race coming to an early end once again, Bottas was left upbeat by the team’s competitive race pace today and felt that had the engine failure not happened he could have come away from Zandvoort with a points finish.

“It’s always disappointing to end a race ahead of time. I felt the car’s pace was better than yesterday’s, we had kept progressing, even though it would have still been challenging to score points.

“The battle in the midfield was quite good and there was plenty of action, but then we had a technical issue and our race was over. I am waiting for confirmation, but I think it was a power unit issue: there was no sign prior to that, everything was feeling ok and I suddenly lost power. I could see some flames in the back, so now we’ll have to see what we find there.”

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