Alfa Romeo F1 has shown great progress this season with the arrival of the new regulations. The team regularly competes for Q3 and the points, but the unreliability of the Ferrari engine, and more generally of the C42, was too regular a cause for retirement.
« Where we’ve probably suffered the most is in general reliability, where we’ve had a few setbacks. » said the team’s technical director, Jan Monchaux.
« It’s something we have to sort out as a priority, and make sure we can give both drivers a car to drive in all the sessions and get the car to the finish in the race. Because we have lost a lot of points this season and that’s pretty boring. »
However, Monchaux denies that disappointment is the dominant feeling within his team: « I can’t use the word too easily, we’re happy with the base, but it’s also about development during the season. »
« Our competitors aren’t sleeping, so it’s also about bringing updates, but bringing those evolutions within the cost cap, which is quite an interesting exercise. »
McLaren and Alpine F1 are far ahead of Alfa Romeo, 44 and 48 points respectively, and Monchaux admits it will be difficult for his team to chase these teams in the standings. He hopes to compete against them at the end of the season, but is also wary of teams that are further back in the standings.
« I hope we can spoil the party of oranges and blues, and be there to have our say until the end of the season. We are only halfway through the season. Now it’s about being consistent, and making changes. Based on the pure pace of the car, we can go and challenge these teams. »
« But the midfield is so tight that you can easily find yourself at the back of Q2 or even not going past Q1. There are four tenths, it’s really, really tight. It’s going to take flawless application to the rest of the season if we really want to go and challenge the top positions. »