Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake brought the 2023 season to an end under the floodlights of Yas Marina, but there was no fairytale ending for our campaign as Zhou Guanyu and Valtteri Bottas finished 17th and 19th in the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
Tonight's result confirms the final Constructors' Standings, as Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake claims ninth place in the championship. The 2023 season that comes to an end has been a long and challenging one but, following next week's test in Yas Marina, preparations will begin already for a new campaign.
Tonight's race also marked the final chapter of our partnership with Alfa Romeo. After six fruitful years that brought benefit to both brands, on and off the track, our paths divide: we will keep the memories of this relationship, of the highs and lows, as we see them off on their new way, wishing them the best for the future.
Alessandro Alunni Bravi, Team Representative: "The most important thing to say today, after such a long and tough season, is to thank Alfa Romeo for six successful seasons together. Of course, we didn't reach all the targets we had set for ourselves, but today we want to pay tribute to a partner that has been instrumental to the growth of our team, that joined us in 2017 when few would have any trust in our future. Now, if we can look to the future with confidence and with a strong foundation is also thank to Alfa Romeo and to the people within their company who helped us as a team. The first thought is for Sergio Marchionne and, today, for Jean Philippe Imparato and all his team. Tonight's race reflected our season in full: in the end, the constructors' championship position corresponds to the pace we were able to show. We need to keep our heads down, knowing we need to work hard and make use of the lessons we learnt to improve. The biggest one is that we need to work as a team each day, having confidence in our people and in our work, but knowing that nobody will give us anything for free. This is important: it's the end of a season tonight, but the start of a new one tomorrow. In next week's test, we will need to collect as much data as we can to fix our issues. I want to thank all the people working both here and in Hinwil for their hard work this season, and our partners at Ferrari for their support throughout the year: also, even though I never spoke about myself, I want to thank everyone for letting me represent them, hoping I did so in the best possible way – in the good days and in the bad. The race has been very tough. We saw the pace was not enough to compete for the points: it's how it went, but as we say goodbye to our fans, we want to let them know we will be working really hard to come back stronger."
Valtteri Bottas (car number 77):
Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake C43 (Chassis 02/Ferrari)
Race result: 19th
Fastest lap: 1:29.863 (Lap 42)
Tyres: New Hard (29 laps) – New Medium (28 laps)
"Unfortunately, we just didn't have enough pace tonight. We tried two different strategies on the cars, and I went for one stop, but the tyres eventually began to wear off and we just couldn't make the progress we needed. Ultimately, that has been the story of this season – we never quite had enough raw pace to put up a decent challenge and constantly achieve points finishes. It's definitely been a long season, for all of us both trackside and back home in Hinwil, and I am glad to be getting some time away from the track now, to reset and recharge. I want to thank everyone who has been working hard all this time – the crew here at the track, our home team in Switzerland, and Ferrari – for all they have done. I also want to thank Alfa Romeo for these years, and wish them well for the future: I'm proud to have been part of their history. Now, the focus switches to 2024: the concept of next year's car, for what I have seen, is interesting, and we will be working hard throughout the winter to come back stronger next season."
Zhou Guanyu (car number 24):
Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake C43 (Chassis 01/Ferrari)
Race result: 17th
Fastest lap: 1:28.746 (Lap 43)
Tyres: New Medium (13 laps) – New Hard (24 laps) – New Medium (21 laps)
"Not the best result to end the season, but at least we went out there and tried everything we could. I'm not overly surprised by our pace today, as the feeling of the car and the pace were consistent with yesterday in qualifying: we just didn't have enough pace in these conditions. It's the end of a long season and a hard one: we finish with some good memories, like Sunday in Doha or our qualifying in Budapest, but the knowledge we need to do more for 2024. So many people have worked hard to get us racing and deserve our gratitude: the mechanics, technicians and engineers and all here at the track; the boys and girls in Hinwil; and our partners at Ferrari and Alfa Romeo. I want to thank Alfa Romeo for all they've done for us, and for the two years I spent with them: it's such a legendary brand and I wish them well. We know next year will be a fresh start: the team back in Hinwil is working hard, our new car will be completely new and I am looking forward to trying it. The margins will still be small, so making a step forward will allow us to battle for much better positions. Now it's important for all of us to catch a bit of a breather, recover after this long season and come back with fresh energies to tackle next year. For me, now it's the chance to go back to Shanghai, which I don't get to do often, and spend some time with my family and my friends: and to prepare to be in the best possible condition for next year."