Vasseur: Alfa now in ‘different world’ compared to 2021

Henry Valantine
Alfa Romeo driver Valtteri Bottas heads into Turn 1. Jeddah March 2022.

Valtteri Bottas leads a train of cars heading into Turn 1 during the race. Saudi Arabia March 2022.

After their 2021 struggles, Frederic Vasseur is encouraged to see Alfa Romeo compete in a “different world” in the upper midfield this year.

Valtteri Bottas has made it through into Q3 in both races this season, and both Alfa Romeo cars have been worthy of points-paying positions so far in 2022.

Zhou Guanyu took his first Formula 1 point in Bahrain, and was frustrated to only finish P11 in Jeddah after an anti-stall issue was compounded by both five-second and drive-through penalties in the race.

Given that Alfa Romeo finished second-last in the Constructors’ standings last year, only ahead of Haas, their team principal was glad to be disappointed to come away from Jeddah empty-handed, after Bottas also had to retire.

“We were less than a tenth off P5 in quali [in Saudi Arabia],” Vasseur told

“It’s quite encouraging for the team, because after Bahrain on a different track we showed that the pace is there, and that we can be there on every single track, and this is good for us.

“But then it’s a shame to not score big points in this situation.

“I think that for sure we are a bit disappointed because we are leaving with zero, but on the other hand one year ago, we were nowhere, we were out in Q1. But now it’s a different world.”

Bottas has also been happy with his move so far, taking heart from his new team’s car performance and going so far as to say that he could not have dreamt of a better start with the Hinwil team, having finished P6 in Bahrain and got off the mark straight away in Alfa Romeo colours.

If they carry on with their rate of progress, the Finn can foresee a fruitful season ahead.


“I think this was kind of the best case scenario for our first season together that I could ever imagine with the information I had,” Bottas said.

“So yeah, definitely I’m really happy with the decision I made, and I’m happy overall as well, so yeah, enjoying it.

“If we can keep improving the car there’s no doubt we should be still able in future to always fight for Q3 and top 10 places, so that is good to see.”


Bottas retired in Saudi to save the engine

Alfa Romeo made the call to retire Valtteri Bottas in Saudi Arabia to hopefully save him from a late-season engine penalty.