Alfa Romeo ‘confident’ in reliability despite Barcelona woes

Henry Valantine
Valtteri Bottas drives the Alfa Romeo C42. Barcelona February 2022.

Valtteri Bottas completes a filming day run in the new Alfa Romeo C42. Barcelona February 2022.

Alfa Romeo team principal Fred Vasseur has said he remains “confident” that the reliability of the C42 will improve, after a tough time in Barcelona.

The team covered the second-lowest mileage in the field through the three days of group shakedown running in Spain, with their 175-lap tally only ranking above Haas, and a whopping 264 laps (exactly four grand prix distances in Barcelona) shy of the most productive team on the grid, Ferrari.

Alfa Romeo are the only constructor with an all-new driver pairing this season, with Valtteri Bottas partnered by Guanyu Zhou, who is the only rookie in the field in Formula 1 this year.

The two of them did not cover the distance they would have wanted to in their new machinery, which had been running in a camouflage livery prior to their official launch recently.

Valtteri Bottas, Guanyu Zhou and Robert Kubica stand next to the Alfa Romeo C42. Barcelona February 2022.
Alfa Romeo drivers Valtteri Bottas, Guanyu Zhou and Robert Kubica stand next to the C42. Barcelona February 2022.

Zhou urged himself and his team to search for “the right solution” heading into official pre-season testing in Bahrain from 10-12 March, but team boss Vasseur believes the car will be more reliable in Sakhir.

“It’s our challenge, but I’m quite confident that we’ll be able to do it for next week,” he told reporters at the launch of the C42 over the weekend, quoted by F1i. “For Bahrain I think we’ll be on the right way.”

Porpoising had been the word of the week in Barcelona, with the cars visibly bouncing at high speed due to the new ground effect aerodynamics creating downforce that pulls the airflow downwards in bringing the cars closer to the track surface.

McLaren appear to have got on top of the porpoising problem already, but a report claims that the team’s solution appears to be relatively easy to replicate, meaning that the issue of cars bouncing in such a way should be eradicated sooner rather than later – as Vasseur confirmed.

 

“It’s always the case with the new regulations, you have new issues coming in,” he said. “I think in two or three races, nobody will speak again about bouncing. We’ll have another issue or topic to discuss, but we have to fix it.

“We saw on our side and the other teams, everybody made big improvements over the first three days and will come back next week. All the teams [will develop] a new configuration to fix it completely.”

Bottas also played down any thoughts that the team are struggling at the moment, identifying that he feels there is “potential” within the car to improve, and any issues are “nothing that we shouldn’t be able to fix” at this stage.

 

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