Alfa Romeo must build ‘foundation’ before on-track progress

Henry Valantine
18-inch tyres on the Alfa Romeo F1 car. Spain, May 2021.

18-inch Pirelli tyres on the Alfa Romeo Formula 1 car. Spain, May 2021.

Alfa Romeo team principal Fred Vasseur has said the team must “first build up the foundation of the house” before making “step-by-step” progress up the field.

After a disappointing season that saw the Hinwil-based team only above struggling Haas in the Constructors’ Championship, there is need for the team to reset themselves as they move into the new era of Formula 1, according to their team boss.

They will be operating with two new drivers at the team though, with Valtteri Bottas and rookie Guanyu Zhou getting behind the wheel in place of Kimi Raikkonen and Antonio Giovinazzi, which they hope will add fresh impetus into the team as they look to get back to regular points finishes.

Vasseur admitted that there had been “missed opportunities” for Alfa Romeo in 2021, but was pragmatic when discussing how the new season could unfold – preferring to focus on the positives of how they can improve this time around.

“For next year, it’s a new project, developing under the cost cap,” Vasseur said to Autosport.

“We have a new line-up. We’ll have a new engine from Ferrari. We are trying to put everything together.

“But everybody is doing the same. Everybody is trying to improve on the line-up, everybody is trying to improve on the engine, everybody is recruiting.

“And it’s probably the nicest part of your job, everybody is focused on performance, and convinced that we will do a better job tomorrow. It’s the main motivation.”

Given the team’s lowly season by their standards, Alfa will hope to move themselves back up the field with their new driver line-up, but the team principal is still calm about the prospect of being rooted in the midfield.

What is more useful to him is that everyone involved with the team is on the same page and moving together in the same way, to go forward as one cohesive unit.


“At the end, you will have someone P1 and someone P10. We’ll have good results and bad results,” said Vasseur.

“The most important thing is that we as a company, and from the shareholders to the guys at the factory, everybody is convinced that we are going in the right direction.

“This is important for me, because we need the support from every stakeholder.”


Bottas never had thought to retire

Valtteri Bottas never had a thought of retirement when moving from Mercedes to Alfa Romeo.