F1 team ‘not happy with anything at the moment’ demand 2024 improvement

Henry Valantine
Valtteri Bottas lapping Baku. Azerbaijan F1 April 2023

Alfa Romeo driver Valtteri Bottas lapping Baku.

Xevi Pujolar has said “everything needs to be one step better for next year” when Alfa Romeo become Sauber again in F1 in 2024.

The Hinwil-based team finished ninth in the Constructors’ Championship after a disappointing campaign by their standards, with the team being largely out-developed by their rivals as the season went on.

Head of trackside engineering Pujolar admitted “we’re not happy with anything at the moment” as a result, with significant behind-the-scenes improvements on the way to try and move them to the top of the midfield once again next season.

Sauber need to ‘improve in all areas’ in F1 2024

Additional reporting by Thomas Maher

Alfa Romeo continued to bring upgrades for the full season in 2023, but they were overhauled by AlphaTauri before the year ended and ended the season ninth in the standings.

With others on the grid having made significant strides from year to year, Pujolar hopes to follow the same kind of model as Aston Martin and McLaren in how they were able to improve in a short space of time.

When asked about what needs to happen back at Hinwil when speaking to media including PlanetF1.com in Abu Dhabi, Pujolar admitted: “To improve in all areas, if we look now in the race, the pace was not consistent enough, so that’s one of the things that we need to improve.

“But that’s not the only thing. We need to improve with the car, we need to improve operationally, we need to improve on the driver’s side as well, they need to improve.

“So that’s in all areas we need to make progress, otherwise it will be difficult to fight for any better positions than that.

“[Upgrades] brought good directions but that’s still not enough, we will put everything together as a whole. But with the latest upgrades, we’ve got some good direction for next year.

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“I think we’re not happy with anything at the moment. It’s what we’ve been seeing the last few races, we made progress in all areas, but we need to make more progress because everyone has been doing better than us.

“I don’t think we are far away because you see the gaps in qualifying, they were small. In the race, the gaps looked a bit bigger, but it’s about the consistency.

“I think the deltas are reasonably small, so if we improve in all in all areas, then we should be able to fight at the top of the midfield again.

“We have seen Aston Martin did a good step at the beginning of the season, McLaren did it during the first half of the year and then they kept improving.

“AlphaTauri in the second part of the season, they made a good step, so it is possible and that’s what we are working hard to change at the factory.”

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