Zhou ‘super-happy’ with P8 finish in Montreal, as Bottas praises rookie’s performance
There were a lot of smiles in the Alfa Romeo garage at the end of the Canadian Grand Prix, and probably none bigger than rookie driver Zhou Guanyu, who finished in eighth place in Montreal – his highest finish of the season and his first points-scoring outing since the opening race in Bahrain.
Zhou came into the Canadian Grand Prix weekend on a run of three DNFs in four races – having failed to see the chequered flag in Miami, Spain and Baku. And he made a good start to the weekend by qualifying in 10th – his highest qualifying position yet in F1.
Despite then being held up behind the Aston Martin of Lance Stroll for 21 laps, Zhou took the chequered flag in ninth – before moving up to eighth after Fernando Alonso’s five-second penalty was applied, one place behind team mate Valtteri Bottas. And a “super-happy” Zhou was not only pleased to be back into the points, but to also finally cross the finish line.
“It’s very good to get the frustration out of the way, finally get to the finish line,” said Zhou. “I think it’s been missing the last few times. And very strong weekend from my side and we finally converted a good Saturday into a good Sunday. So, super-happy to have P9, the best finish yet for myself in F1.
“Obviously never expected to be doing that in Montreal, it’s a tough, tough track but the whole weekend it’s been very, very good. I’m just so happy that we can finally get both cars up there. The race for me was pretty good pace all the way through. Obviously, a little bit frustrating to get stuck behind Stroll the whole race – it was difficult to overtake him on the straights.”
Bottas continued his fine form this season by finishing in seventh – his seventh top-10 finish of the season – and the Finn was pleased to see both he and his team mate in the top 10, believing that Zhou will take “a lot of confidence” from his performance in Montreal.
“It’s nice, because I think we’ve had a couple of tricky races as a team,” said Bottas. “So now we could actually see towards the end of the race we had solid race pace, like we’ve seen in some races this year. And I’m really happy for my team mate as well. He had good pace, a strong race, and it’s good to get points with both cars.
“Absolutely, it’s really important [to get both cars in the points],” added Bottas. “I think my team mate can take a lot of confidence from this weekend. I’m sure that going on now, we can be closely matched and get some more points together.”