Formula 1 | Alfa Romeo F1: Q3 objective for Zhou and Bottas in the United States

Guanyu Zhou was the hardest-working driver on track this Friday in Austin for Alfa Romeo F1. Indeed, the Chinese took part in EL1 and EL2, unlike Valtteri Bottas, replaced by Théo Pourchaire during the first session. Zhou said he was impressed with the bumps at Circuit of the Americas.

“It was very bumpy! I don’t know how all the other tracks are, but I know for me it was one of the bumpiest tracks I’ve ever been on” did he declare. “But nevertheless, the layout is good, there are a lot of different corners.”

“FP2 was a bit limited with the tire tests, but the first session was good. I immediately felt good in the car, and I hope for a good qualifying on Saturday.”

“I think Q2 will be the basic target, we’ll try to do that, we were able to do that at Suzuka and Singapore and we’ll try to keep that momentum going. It’s always close for Q3, and it depends on your lap. If everything works out we will have a chance, but I have five penalty places for Sunday so it will be a challenge.”

The Chinese did not see a big difference between the 2023 prototypes and the current rubbers: “We don’t have a lot of information before getting in the car, we don’t know what tires we are using, we just have the feeling of the compound we are using.

“But it’s quite similar in general. The biggest difference is the lower temperature of the electric blankets, the first round is quite tricky. We need to make further progress to stop using electric blankets in 2024.”

‘Everything looked good’ for Bottas

Bottas had therefore found his C42 during the FP2 of the United States GP, and he was able to drive with the compounds of this weekend for 45 minutes before putting on the prototypes. His first impression is good, to the point that he too hopes to arrive in Q3.

“It’s a bit special today with the Pirelli tire tests, and because I didn’t race in the first session. It was different from driving for Pirelli. And I did this program afterwards, so the lap times are not representative.”

“But overall everything seemed good for me, just one session but the car didn’t seem bad. We didn’t have the upgrades, but we will get them. We can improve, and from the feeling I had today today the top 10 we need in qualifying is realistic.”

The Finn has nothing to report about the 2023 tyres: “They felt quite different, especially with the lowest pressure. The minimum pressure is much lower, especially on the first lap when the rubber is still hot. They move more, especially the front tyres.”

“But other than that the feeling was quite similar. At this track I didn’t see a problem with the lower temperature of the electric blankets, but at other tracks I think it could be a problem.”

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