Alfa Romeo F1 Team ORLEN returned to the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve for the first time in three years as it completed Friday practice for the Canadian Grand Prix. It was a busy day for Zhou Guanyu, as he got to grips with a track on which he had never driven before; on the other side of the garage, Valtteri Bottas had a solid FP1 before a technical issue prevented him from setting a lap in the second session.
Valtteri Bottas: "It's disappointing to miss out on FP2 today: we had an electronics issue and, every time I downshifted, the car would go into neutral. We couldn't find a reason during the session so we had to stop: of course, we will find a fix for it but it's not ideal. We need clean days of running and to minimise the issues, and I know everyone in the team is working as hard as they can for this. Hopefully we will be able to make up for the lost time tomorrow. Earlier in the day, in FP1, we focused mostly on the mechanical set-up: there are still some old bits on the car and we are going to put the new ones tomorrow, so there's more to be found there, but so far we achieved a good balance, something to build on. Having missed FP2, it's hard to talk much about times: we will see what tomorrow brings. The weather conditions could be mixed, which would make everything more exciting and create some opportunities: we will need to make sure our car is fixed and that we are ready, whatever the weather, to be in the fight."
Zhou Guanyu: "It wasn't a bad Friday for my side of the garage, but I feel there's plenty more to come for tomorrow, once we put the new package on the car. This is a good track, I really like it: it's quite bumpy, especially with the new cars, and the kerbs are not easy to tackle. In a sense, it reminds me of Melbourne, it's quite challenging. It was quite slippery out there at the beginning of FP1, but it's mostly a matter of getting into a rhythm and finding out the best way to attack the kerbs without losing the car. We have a bit of work to do tonight, but I feel we can make a big step before FP3. The whole field is very tight, I reckon qualifying will be really intense: I am quite happy about our pace as we are closer to the guys ahead compared to the usual on Friday. Once again, it will be a matter of putting everything together tomorrow: the car is there, the performance is there, we just need to deliver."