Zhou: Points in Spain a 'massive relief' for Alfa Romeo


Zhou Guanyu delivered a top-ten finish to Alfa Romeo in the Spanish Grand Prix, a result the Chinese charger described as "a massive relief" for the Swiss outfit after three pointless races.

Zhou launched his race from P13 in Barcelona but the Alfa driver clocked in ninth at the end of an impressive opening lap.

Zhou opted for a two-stop strategy during which he used all three available compounds, eventually stabilizing his race just inside the top-ten.

However, a fierce battle with AlphaTauri's Yuki Tsunoda in the second half of the race resolved in Zhou's favor after his Japanese rival was handed a five-second penalty by the stewards for running the Alfa off the track.

"That feels like a massive relief for us, and for the team here and back in Hinwil," commented Zhou whose only points finish this season before Spain had been in Australia.

"It was a tricky start to the season for the team. We finally got some points that we deserved, and the car was mega.

"I was feeling comfortable out there, taking the right chance when I had the opportunities. We executed the race.

"I would say (it’s one of my best drives). It’s one of the one or two on the table.

On his wheel-to-wheel battle with Tsunoda, while the latter was left fuming after his sanction, Zhou reckoned the stewards had made the right call.

"It was very straightforward," he said. "I was ahead before braking into Turn 1. Mid-corner, I was actually giving a lot of space and then I saw he wasn’t stopping, tried to release the brake, ran me off, which I had to take avoiding action on the escape road, otherwise we would be crashing together.

"That was tricky after that, because I had so much rubbish on my tires. In the end, I was able to keep behind in the right position and get the position back."


On the other side of the Alfa Romeo garage, Valtteri Bottas rued a strange handling issue with his C43 that constrained his efforts and left him a distant P19 at the end of the day.

"For me it’s pretty clearly there was something not right with the car, because I was more than one second per lap off, just sliding around," explained the Finn.

"Whether it was a mechanical or aero issue I cannot say, because the balance was not, like, way off, but it was just lack of overall grip. So, we’ll see if there’s something damaged in the car…

"Either something mechanical has been installed wrongly, before qualifying, something that affects the ride height or something, or there’s something aero wise. I would have thought so.

"I’m really pleased that we got two points – I just had a chat with Zhou and he was saying the pace was quite good. It’s good, but not for me! It’s good to see that the upgrades are doing the job."

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