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Zhou brands his back-row-to-points run in Qatar ‘something quite special’

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LUSAIL CITY, QATAR - OCTOBER 08: Zhou Guanyu of China and Alfa Romeo F1 waves to the crowd on the

Zhou Guanyu branded his remarkable fight back from the last row of the grid to a points finish in Qatar "something quite special" as Alfa Romeo celebrated a double points finish for the first time this season.

Zhou, starting 19th, made up a hatful of places in the early laps and charged his way to 10th, which became ninth when Red Bull’s Sergio Perez picked up a third time penalty for exceeding track limits.

READ MORE: Verstappen cruises to Qatar GP victory over Piastri and Norris after Mercedes drivers collide

Team mate Valtteri Bottas started ninth and gained one spot to come home in eighth, with both drivers making the most of an action-packed race at the Lusail International Circuit which saw drivers battle with hot conditions and several tyre safety measures that led to more pit stops than usual.

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Alfa Romeo were rewarded with P8 and P9 in Sunday’s race at Lusail

It marked a welcome return to the top 10 for Alfa Romeo, who had last scored in Italy three races ago, while also cutting the gap to seventh-placed Williams in the constructors’ standings to seven points.

For Zhou, the race proved to be a particularly exciting affair from his back-of-the-grid start, having risen to 12th by Lap 4 and made it into the points by Lap 12, aided by first-lap contact between the Mercedes drivers.

“It’s an amazing finish for a tricky start to the weekend,” he said. “It’s rewarding for everyone here and back at the factory. Starting P19, last on the grid, and finishing in the points purely on pace, that was something quite special.

READ MORE: ‘There’s more we want to win’ – Verstappen vows to keep pushing after title-winning Qatar weekend

“From my side, we did everything correct, the pace was really quick actually. I think I was inside the top 10 [almost] the whole race, so we got to where we should be, and I’m really happy to finally get a double points finish for the team.”

Bottas delighted with ‘really rewarding’ Qatar GP as both Alfa Romeos score points

Reflecting on his result, Bottas said: “I’m really pleased, of course. Double points for us as a team is great. For me, getting four points feels really rewarding, but also for the whole team, so I’m pleased.

READ MORE: Stewards hand out reprimand and fine to Hamilton after Qatar Grand Prix

“I think we’ve learned a lot about the upgrades and now we’re starting to get more out of it. Of course, maybe the track favoured us a little bit, but at least we seem to be a bit stronger than previous races and I’m happy for that.”

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