Alfa Romeo: Better fighting Alpine than the medical car

Michelle Foster
Valtteri Bottas racing ahead of an Alpine. Australia April 2022

No longer lining up at the very back of the field, Fred Vasseur much prefers fighting Alpine and AlphaTauri than he does “the medical car”.

Three races into the 2022 season and Alfa Romeo have already equalled last year’s points-tally, the team up in sixth place in the Constructors’ Championship.

The last time the Hinwil team finished P6 or better was back in 2012 when it was still running Sauber.

And while it is still early days Alfa Romeo already have one P6 on the board, Valtteri Bottas achieving that in Bahrain, which is their best-placed finish at a grand prix since 2019.

Vasseur is loving being back in the midfield fight, saying it beats staying ahead of all but the medical car.

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

“It’s nice to be back – it’s much better to fight with Alpine and AlphaTauri than with the medical car!” the team boss told Motorsport.com.

“No, it’s a good feeling, and the races are very exciting at the end for us, but I think for everyone else as well.

“We don’t have to pay too much attention to the classification. Again, we have still 20 races to go, and the most important is to be focused on our development and what we have to improve.

“Because I think we have a lot of room for improvement on the car and into the team, and I’m sure that if we are focused on the right thing, then we will do a good step.”

This year the team has an all-new line up in Bottas and rookie driver Guanyu Zhou.

Bottas already has two top-ten finishes to his name, the Finn recently speaking about how he feels like he is more than just a driver with the Alfa Romeo team.

“I’m really happy how things are going with the team and my role,” he told The Race earlier this month.

“I feel like I’m not just driving the car. I feel like I am a bit more than that. I’m not just a driver, but also an important team member.”

Vasseur is happy to hear that.

“You know when it’s going well, it’s going well – very often, it’s when it’s not going well that you analyse the relationship between the people,” he said.

 

“But I’m sure even with Valtteri, we are not happy about the qualy, and we had good discussions to understand, and everybody stayed positive. Also because we know that in Q1, we were P6, and the pace was there.

“But no, the fit is perfect. I’m more than happy.”

 

Minor honours for Alfa Romeo again

Alfa Romeo have taken huge steps forwards on the grid, and this weekend could be another opportunity at a solid result.