Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake fell just short of a spot in Q2 in qualifying for the Singapore Grand Prix, with Valtteri Bottas setting the 16th fastest time, ahead of team-mate, Zhou Guanyu, in P19.
It was a difficult session for the team at the Marina Bay Circuit: both drivers will aim to make up ground tomorrow with race pace and strategy as the team aims to climb their way into the points.
Alessandro Alunni Bravi, Team Representative: "Today was all about extracting grip from the tyres, and we were unable to do so ever since the final practice session. It seems we couldn't follow the evolution of the track, which meant we were not in the right setup window come qualifying. The drivers' laps in Q1 were good, there were no significant mistakes, but the pace to book a spot in Q2 just wasn't there: it is not the first time we find ourselves struggling to extract all our potential on a single lap, and we need to fully analyse this issue and get to the bottom of it. Still, tomorrow there's all to play for: we have seen in recent races how we can make our way back from the bottom of the grid, and our target has to be the same on Sunday. There will be opportunities, and it will be up to us to make the most of them."
Valtteri Bottas: "My laps today were actually good, but we lacked something to be in Q2. I did find some traffic towards the end of my final lap but, overall, we appear to have lost some pace compared to yesterday, and we had to make some compromises with the setup. It felt we couldn't extract much from our car, which is quite frustrating as, yesterday, it seemed we were on the path to build something good. Tomorrow is going to be a long day, and making progress will not be an easy task; we must focus on making the best out of our strategy and of any situation that may present itself. This is a street track, after all, and we have seen some unpredictable situations in the past here: if we play our cards well, we may still have a chance to bring home a good result tomorrow."
Zhou Guanyu: "We expected a bit more today, but in fairness Q2 would have been hard to achieve. To be 19th is a disappointment, but a reflection of a difficult session. I was not comfortable with the car and it was really difficult to put together a clean lap: when you don't have a good feeling on a track like this, you cannot build up consistency and, in the end, you pay the price. We need to understand where we went wrong: it won't be easy from the back tomorrow, but it's all still open here. We can still move forward and there will be opportunities, also with the strategy, to gain ground. Never say never, we will give everything to get a result."
Check out our Saturday gallery from Marina Bay here.