Alfa Romeo F1 Team ORLEN qualified in P12 and P14 for the Australian Grand Prix, which will take place in Melbourne tomorrow. Valtteri Bottas and Zhou Guanyu delivered a solid performance around the Albert Park circuit and will be in the position to fight for another points finish as we go racing around the Australian track in Sunday's showpiece event.
Frederic Vasseur, Team Principal: "After two consecutive races in Q3, missing out on the top ten is a bit disappointing, but we are still confident in our chances for tomorrow. We took some decisions, in relation to the direction of our setup, that we knew would penalise us a bit today - but with a potential benefit for the race. Both drivers had a good performance today and I think we got most of the potential out of our car: if we can produce a clean race tomorrow, we stand in with a very realistic chance to fight for the points with both cars."
Valtteri Bottas: "Our qualifying went pretty smoothly, and I feel we delivered some good laps: it felt I got everything out of the car and didn't leave anything on the table, so it's a disappointment not to be in Q3. We wanted to be in the top ten but we lacked a bit of one-lap pace: we took the decision to prioritise our setup for the race, with a smaller rear wing, so hopefully we can benefit from this decision tomorrow. The car felt good, we can see how fine the margins are in the midfield but I am confident we have a fast car, we have a car geared for overtaking and we have a good opportunity to score points. Of course, it's sad to bring my streak of 103 consecutive Q3s to an end, but it's good to know I had such a long run. It felt a bit weird watching the session on TV!"
Zhou Guanyu: "I'm happy about my performance, all things considered. We struggled a bit with the balance in qualifying, but we cleared a very tight battle with our rivals in Q1 and we still got into a position that will allow us to fight for the points tomorrow. This track is not an easy one to learn so I am pleased my performance was good, now our focus has to be on making up ground and finishing in the top ten tomorrow. I think our setup will help us, and our car has been good in race trim this weekend. Turn one and the opening lap will be key to do a good job tomorrow, and I am looking forward to it."
Check out our Saturday gallery from Melbourne, here.