Team Talk - Sunday in Las Vegas

Max Verstappen (NLD), Red Bull Racing 18.11.2023. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 22, Las Vegas Grand Prix, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA, Race Day. -, EMail: © Copyright: Charniaux / XPB Images'
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Catch up with what the teams had to say following round 21 of the 2023 season, the Las Vegas Grand Prix in the United States.

Alfa Romeo

Valtteri Bottas (FIN) Alfa Romeo F1 Team on the grid. 18.11.2023. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 22, Las Vegas Grand Prix, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA, Race Day. -, EMail: © Copyright: Bearne / XPB Images
Valtteri Bottas
“I started in a very strong position but, unfortunately, my race was pretty much ruined at the first corner. After the contact with Fernando [Alonso], I got hit on the rear end, damaging my diffuser and compromising any chance to progress and recover the positions I had lost. It was a long race after that, with lack of pace and of grip as well. Obviously, it was really disappointing, especially as we were confident we could have had a good result today, and never got the chance to show our true performance. As a positive from the weekend, our one-lap pace definitely improved, which allowed us to get into Q3 yesterday. None of our direct competitors brought back points, which leaves things still open as we head to Abu Dhabi for the final race of the season: we’ll be giving it all to make it back into the top ten and try to finish the season well.”

Zhou Guanyu
“The race was quite fun for me tonight, with some good battles and good moves, even though in the end we didn’t get any points. I had to take evasive action at the start, so I couldn’t really take advantage of the chaos ahead of me, and we chose to pit when the Safety Car came in. That meant having to do 30 laps on medium tyres: the strategy worked well and allowed me to make up a few places and get into a battle with Lewis [Hamilton] and Fernando [Alonso] but, with no further chances to pit, I was exposed in the final ten laps: when the tyres were over, my laptimes started dropping off and I ended up 15th. That’s how we ended there: starting where we did, however, in 17th, we didn’t have a lot of chances to score points, but at least we had some fun battling. Now, let’s focus on Abu Dhabi: it is the final race of the season, and we’re determined to have a good weekend.”

Alessandro Alunni Bravi, team representative
“It is clear that, unfortunately, this is not our season. Tonight, we had a strong grid position with Valtteri in P7, but that was nullified at the first corner already, as Alonso spun in front of him: Valtteri had nowhere to go, and was also hit from behind by Perez, suffering heavy damage to the floor and diffuser. We saw a loss of more than 20 points of downforce, and that made the car nearly undriveable: Valtteri still brought it home, but it wasn’t possible to salvage a good result. It’s a shame as we say, earlier in the weekend, that his race pace was very good, especially with the hard compound. We chose a reverse strategy for Zhou, starting on hards and moving on to mediums: the early Safety Car did not help, but we noticed that in the end the pace we had was not enough for him to finish in the points. At least, our direct competitors didn’t score either: we head to Abu Dhabi with one final chance to get points and finish the season on a positive note.”