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Austrian GP: Preview - Alfa Romeo

NEWS STORY
07/07/2022

Alfa Romeo F1 Team ORLEN returns to action at the Austrian Grand Prix this weekend. The team will be aiming to turn the good performance of the last few weeks into points as it races around the short, fast track of Spielberg, a venue with a long and glorious history in the sport and that underwent drastic changes over the years.

Just like this track, Austria is a country that mixes tradition and modernity like no other. It's a place where the dirndl meets haute couture; where the Wienerschnitzel lives alongside fusion dining. Loving things that are done as they've always been doesn't mean not appreciating the impetus coming from the new, from the exotic, from the unexpected. Austria has an Alpine heart but retains the soul of an empire that brought together people, ethnicities, cultures. It's a place bringing together Mozart's Don Giovanni and Mark Ronson's Valerie (knowing both would have appreciated Amy Winehouse). It's both extremely classic, and extremely badass.

What once was the Osterreichring, and then became the A1 Ring, is now the Red Bull Ring. A reinterpretation of a classic, now an epic venue on its own right. It's a track drivers and teams know so well, having raced here twice each year in 2020 and 2021, as the calendar recovered from its pandemic shock. It's a track that, in its various guises, recalls icons of the sport, from Niki Lauda to Mika Hakkinen, from Alain Prost to our very own Valtteri Bottas, who triumphed here twice.

Austria is a classic reimagined: a traditional name who still lives up to the hype and reinvents itself for the future, not unlike Alfa Romeo. The history of the Austrian Grand Prix is long and prestigious - time to write another page of it this weekend.

Frederic Vasseur, Team Principal: "This weekend in Austria is an opportunity to bounce back after Silverstone and get immediately back to the level we have shown so far this year. We can build on the positives from last week - our pace, that was allowing us to fight well within the points, and the performance we have shown across the weekend. I am confident we can make another step forward and fight at the front of the midfield: the Sprint Qualifying also offers us an extra opportunity to bring home points. As always, we will need to be sharp and we will need to execute every session to our best: but we know the spirit of this team is high and we're ready for the challenge ahead."

Valtteri Bottas: "I have very fond memories of Spielberg, the place where I scored my first Formula One podium back in 2014 and a race I won twice. I always enjoy my time in Austria, just like I enjoy driving this track: the landscape around here, with the mountains framing the circuit, is beautiful. The fans, as well, are incredibly passionate, and I always feel their support when driving here. Last weekend in Silverstone was a tough one for us, as it was a day in which we had the pace to score many points: it was important to regroup and get back to where we belong right away. We analysed what went wrong last Sunday, and I'm positive we will be able to fight for points and recover what we lost last weekend. We know it's going to be a matter of small details, as always, but we are confident."

Zhou Guanyu: "The moment I left Silverstone last Sunday, I was already looking forward to getting back into the car. It was a big crash, and once again I am grateful for the safety improvements of recent years which allowed me to walk away with no injury: but that is now in the past and I'm only focusing on the weekend here in Austria. Our performance in Britain looked promising, the car felt good, so I can't wait to pick up where we left off after Quali last weekend and give a good account of ourselves on track. We have Sprint Qualifying this weekend, my second ever after Imola, and I'm looking forward to that as well - it's a good opportunity for us to put ourselves in a good place for Sunday."

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