Alfa Romeo F1 Team ORLEN had a disappointing race weekend despite a positive Friday at the FIA Formula 1 World Championship‘s Singapore Grand Prix.
Valtteri Bottas had a quiet day on track, he did manage to finish the race and take advantage of the multiple retirements but the last few laps saw him struggle to chase down Pierre Gasly for the final points position. It was an early end to the race for Zhou Guanyu; however, an incident on Lap Seven with Nicholas Latifi saw both drivers have to retire and the latter gain a five-place grid penalty for his erratic driving.
Alfa Romeo Team Principal Frédéric Vasseur labelled the evening a difficult one in Singapore, and puts no blame on either of his drivers.
“It has been a difficult weekend, despite the good pace we showed on Friday. Yesterday’s wet qualifying ended up compromising our day, as it was always going to be challenging to come back from 14th and 15th on the grid.
The race itself was not easy, especially on a damp track: Zhou couldn’t do anything to avoid being taken out when he was showing good pace; Valtteri probably got as much out of the race as possible, and it was only a fast-charging Verstappen who kept him out of the points in the end. We tried giving him a fighting chance with the soft tyres, but in the end that was not enough to finish in the top ten.
Despite no points for the team, they managed to keep hold of sixth in the Constructors’ Championship but they will be worried by the pace of Aston Martin Aramco Cognizant Formula 1 Team, with their drivers collecting a decent sum of points in the race. Lance Stroll and Sebastian Vettel took advantage of incidents around them and they will look to close the gap on Alfa Romeo as the season draws to a close.
The team showed good pace in the dry, with Bottas finishing as high as eighth in the Second Practice session. Vasseur is hoping for a dry race and to score points at the Japanese Grand Prix, with the team looking to secure sixth in the Constructors’ Championship by introducing new upgrades.
“We move on to Suzuka now, knowing our pace in the dry was ok and that we will be introducing some updates that should give us a boost in performance. We keep fighting to preserve P6 in the championship.”