Alfa Romeo duo Valterri Bottas and Zhou Guanyu secured a double points finish as they crossed the line eighth and ninth place respectively at the 2023 Qatar Grand Prix.
Bottas and Zhou were able to turn their qualifying positions into something much more fruitful in the race on Sunday, with the former finishing eighth despite qualifying ninth, and the latter moving up to a remarkable ninth place, after qualifying 20th on Friday.
“Yeah, really clean race,” Bottas told the media after the race. “Good strategy. Of course, it felt a bit strange to stop after three laps from a good position.
“We had been lucky in a way because Lewis [Hamilton] was out and also [Carlos] Sainz didn’t start. Sometimes you need that bit of luck and today they just got everything right.”
With the result from Alfa Romeo being as strong as it was, the gap to Williams in the Constructors’ Championship was cut down to seven points, with Bottas happy to close the gap to their rivals.
“We closed the gap a little bit. So yeah, I feel like we definitely made some progress now, and finally understand the upgrades,” Bottas said.
Zhou also shared the optimism with teammate Bottas, who echoed his teammate’s praise for the team and the overall performance.
“Yeah, it was amazing,” Zhou told the media. “Firstly very happy to get both points for the team. For myself, starting from P19 that was not easy especially, with Williams and fighting with Sargeant at the beginning.
“I mean, I feel like to catch them is still quite far. But I think this is a very good target for us to reach now.”
Going into the next race at the US Grand Prix, Alfa Romeo sit eighth in the 2023 constructors standings, while Williams are ahead in seventh, with just seven points separating the two teams.