Théo Pourchaire Happy With F1 Experience

2022 United States Grand Prix Friday - Théo Pourchaire
2022 United States Grand Prix Friday - Théo Pourchaire

Alfa Romeo F1 Team ORLEN enjoyed a solid start to the United States Grand Prix weekend as Zhou Guanyu, Valtteri Bottas and Sauber Academy driver, Théo Pourchaire, took to the track in Austin. With an extended FP2 session devoted almost entirely to testing the prototype tyres for 2023, it was important to maximise the opening session to gather all available data – a target the team achieved today.

Valtteri Bottas

“Today has been a bit of a peculiar day, both because of the Pirelli tyre test and because FP2 has been my first session in the car. I was still able to do a couple of runs to set the car up in the early part of the session, before I switched to the Pirelli programme, so those lap times are not really representative: still, the overall feeling is positive. I was able to get up to speed immediately and the car didn’t feel too bad, even though we didn’t have the upgrades we’re saving for tomorrow: hopefully this means there’s still quite some margin for improvement. I think a shot at Q3 is realistic but, as always, the key to being at the top of such a close midfield will be perfect execution.”

Zhou Guanyu

“It’s been good fun out there today: the track is one of the bumpiest I’ve driven so far, but nevertheless it felt like a nice layout, with a nice variety of different speed corners. I think I learned quite a lot, even though FP2 was a bit limited because of the tyre test: in the first practice session, I felt at ease straight away, so hopefully we can keep up this momentum ahead of qualifying tomorrow. Q2, as always, will be our minimum aim; we know we’ve done it before and we want to do it again. The battle for Q3 will likely be quite tight, and much will depend on how good one’s lap is. If everything works with the new package, then we can have a nice shot at it, even though I will have a five-place grid penalty for Sunday. It will be a bit difficult starting from behind, but of course we will do our best.”

Théo Pourchaire

“It’s been an amazing experience, the best hour of my life and I am so grateful to the team for the trust they’ve put in me. Discovering this track was incredible and the car is just something special: I have been through lots of emotions and I’m just so happy right now. My main target was to help the team and I was pleased to be able to do so: we had a good session, did quite a few laps and everyone was satisfied, so it’s a good start of the weekend. I tried to push a bit at the end, but my focus was mostly on understanding everything about the car, the steering wheel and so on. I would like to thank Alfa Romeo F1 Team ORLEN for this opportunity: it’s been a very intense experience, I enjoyed every minute of it and tried to learn as much as I could from the car and the team around me.”

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