Valtteri Bottas secured a well-earned point for the Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake outfit in the Italian Grand Prix, with the Finn using the hard-medium tyre strategy to good use at the Autodromo Nazionale Monza.
Bottas started fourteenth on the grid and made it to lap twenty-five on a used set of hard tyres before making his pit stop, and he used his medium compound to make up a number of positions, passing the likes of Liam Lawson and Logan Sargeant on his way into the top ten.
The Finn said the target was to end the European segment of the season with a top ten finish at Alfa Romeo’s home event, with the point a good reward for the hard work the team have been putting in developing the C43-Ferrari.
“Points were the target today, and we achieved that: it’s nice to be back in the top ten as it had been a while, despite all our hard work, and this point is for everyone at Alfa Romeo,” said Bottas. “It may be just one point, but it is a good reward for the job done to turn our weekend around, and for the support of our home team from the grandstands.
“It’s been a clean race from our side: our pace had slightly improved from qualifying, and we nailed our strategy, which helped us have some clean air and keep out of trouble.
“Overall, it is safe to say it has been a good day in the office today, and a good way to wrap up the European season.”
“It’ll be crucial to make that step forward in Singapore” – Zhou Guanyu
Team-mate Zhou Guanyu could only finish fourteenth in what was a disappointing weekend for the Chinese driver, with his two-stop strategy not working the way he would have liked.
After finding himself eliminated in Q1 during Saturday’s Qualifying session at Monza, Zhou hoped to move forward on Sunday, but his strategy of starting on the medium, switching to the hard compound on lap eleven and returning to the medium for the final eighteen laps.
Zhou was happy to see progress made by the team between Qualifying and the race that meant they were able to show more competitiveness on Sunday, and it gives them confidence that the updates coming to the car for the Singapore Grand Prix will help them still further move forward.
“I am glad to see Valtteri bring home one point from this race, a point that helps us close the gap to Haas,” said Zhou. “Considering the results we had on Friday and Saturday, we made a massive step forward, which is encouraging for the races ahead – especially as we are meant to bring further upgrades in Singapore, where we must make a further improvement.
“I believe that, overall, it has been a clean race from my side; Valtteri and I were on different tyre strategies, he started on hard tyres, and I was on mediums, focusing on the Alpines in the hope of undercutting them.
“In terms of pure pace, we were still behind Williams; for this reason, it’ll be crucial to make that step forward in Singapore and keep on working to add new points to our tally.”