After a difficult 2020 that saw Alfa Romeo struggle with its underperforming Ferrari powertrain, the team appeared to take a step towards the other midfield teams last year, improving their points total from 8 to 13 with pilots Kimi Raikkonen and Antonio Giovinazzi.
But the team would drop from eighth to ninth in the F1 constructors’ championship as Williams had their best season in four years, capitalizing on eventful races in Hungary and Belgium to collect the bulk of their points.
Thinking back to the team’s 2021 season, Alfa Romeo team principal Vasseur admitted he had left with a “very strange feeling” as the performance stage had not been rewarded. by better results.
“In terms of pure performance, we did pretty well,” said Vasseur.
“We have taken a big step from last year, probably the best in terms of pure performance from pole position.
“But on the other hand, we missed the good opportunities of the year. In Budapest, we were involved in the crash, and in Spa. We have had some missed opportunities on our side. In Bahrain, I think, we had the problem with the pit stop, or in Imola when Kimi spun on the formation lap, it cost us – [it’s] two points there, four points there.
“It’s a weird feeling, because in the end your only KPI that makes sense is the points. It doesn’t matter if you are faster if you don’t score any points.
Kimi Raikkonen, Alfa Romeo Racing C41, Antonio Giovinazzi, Alfa Romeo Racing C41
Photo By: Andy Hone / Motorsport Images
Vasseur admitted the script was a source of frustration for Alfa Romeo as he looked back on his season, but felt his form had dipped slightly this summer – coinciding with Williams’ stronger races – before bouncing back late in the summer. year.
“During the season there were really ups and downs,” he said.
“We probably got off to a good start, up to Monaco or something like that. And then we had a rough time in the summer – maybe we were on vacation, I don’t know! And then he came back in the latter part of the year.
“Again, it’s very difficult to analyze because if you look at the standings, OK, that’s clear.
“But if you look at the pure performance, sometimes it’s a matter of a tenth of completely changing the picture. [In Saudi Arabia] we reached Q3, but we were one tenth off Q1 and come out in Q1. When you’re trying to get a preview of the season, we have to be careful of this.
“Overall if I have to rate this season I would say it’s good for performance and bad for results.”
Alfa Romeo will field a whole new team of drivers in 2022 as Valtteri Bottas will join from Mercedes with F2 graduate Guanyu Zhou, replacing Raikkonen and Giovinazzi.