“The gap with the vehicles in front is not that big!” – Valtteri Bottas

"The gap with the vehicles in front is not that big!"  - Valtteri Bottas

Valtteri Bottas has a good chance of scoring some strong points at the Spanish Grand Prixafter qualifying in seventh place on the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya

After missing a Friday run due to a technical problem, Alfa Romeo F1 Team ORLEN driver made strong progress all Saturday and fully earned his seventh place. Bottas qualified as ‘best of the rest’, with the top three teams knocking out the top six. Bottas took seventh place with a 1:19.608, nine tenths behind pole sitter Charles Leclerc

Bottas is delighted with his performance, especially as he predicts overtaking during the race will be difficult.

“I am happy with today’s result, we had a strong qualifying and we are in a good place for tomorrow. In theory, we didn’t expect to like this track too much, but I think the upgrades have given us a good step forward in terms of performance. We had a solid FP3, which allowed us to make up for some of the ground we lost yesterday, and we were pretty consistent in every run throughout the day.

“I’m glad we qualified well because I don’t think it will be easy to overtake at this track: I think P7 was the best result we could get today, so I’m glad we got it reached – actually the gap with the cars. front is not that big! Our car is usually better in the race, so we can have a good Sunday.”

“We definitely have the pace to fight for the top ten” – Guanyu Zhou

Guanyu Zhou starts on Sunday in fifteenth position, after a disappointing qualifying. Zhou used three sets of new soft tires during Qual 1, meaning he had no new soft tires for Qual 2, putting the Chinese rookie at an immediate disadvantage.

Zhou has had a good run so far this weekend and would actually have made it into the second part of qualifying without setting a time on his third set of soft tyres.

Despite the disappointment, Zhou is confident he has the pace to finish in the points.

“I’m optimistic about tomorrow’s race as we certainly have the pace to fight for the top ten, but I’m confident we could have been fighting for P10 or P11 today. We wanted to avoid the situation we had in Miami where we got stuck in traffic at the end of Q1, so we opted to do three runs on soft tires in the first part of qualifying.

“It was the safe choice, although in hindsight my second lap would have been enough to get into Q2. The second segment would always be difficult without new tyres, but that was what we had and we made the most of it. We aim to make up some ground tomorrow and finish in the top ten by the end of the day.”

Credit: Florent Gooden/DPPI