Alfa Romeo believe they will be on top of their soft tyre warm-up issues at the Canadian Grand Prix.
With neither Valtteri Bottas nor Zhou Guanyu managing to make it into the top 10 in qualifying in Monaco or Azerbaijan, Alfa Romeo only scored two points over those two weekends when Bottas came home ninth in Monte Carlo.
With qualifying being a clear weakness for Alfa Romeo at both rounds, the suspicion from the team has been an inability to switch on the soft C5 compound.
“Here [in Azerbaijan], some competitors are able to extract more performance on the first timed lap, and for us on the first timed lap we are struggling more,” Alfa Romeo’s head of trackside engineering, Xevi Pujolar, told Motorsport.com.
“We are putting more on the second push lap. This is something we were working on, and I think we are getting there in Q2 but then we have to make more progress.
“I think for Montreal, we don’t see a reason why we shouldn’t be on top of it. But the problems from Monaco, they are gone.”
Those problems from Monaco were that the team admitted they had gone in the wrong set-up direction with the C42, Bottas struggling for grip and confidence throughout the rain-affected race.
“In Monaco we had some difficulties, but that was different,” Pujolar explained.
“We changed the configuration of the car and if you see the level of performance we have with Zhou – because with Valtteri we had something different – then we can say the problems from Monaco were gone.”
Bottas explained after the Azerbaijan Grand Prix he felt there had been something seriously amiss with his car, having had no pace compared to Zhou – an issue the team are hoping to have rectified by overhauling the C42 for Canada.
“It almost felt like something is fundamentally wrong,” Bottas told Motorsport.com afterwards.
“We were so off the expected lap times and pace, even Williams were faster than us at the end of the race which is not where our car should be.
“We changed from the old package to the new package for Saturday and since then, the issue started with the behaviour of the car. We’ll have a look – I’m pretty convinced we’ll find something.
“From Friday to Saturday it just felt like we lost rear grip, which is a bit strange because with the parts we changed it should have been increasing the rear end. So we need to find out what’s gone wrong.
“I had no chance to match Zhou’s lap times – he was in another league, almost one second faster which for me is quite strange.”