Fred Vasseur outlines upgrade plan for Alfa Romeo C42

Jon Wilde
Mechanics build an Alfa Romeo C42 for Valtteri Bottas. Imola April 2022.

Mechanics build an Alfa Romeo C42 for Valtteri Bottas at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix. Imola April 2022.

Alfa Romeo team principal Fred Vasseur has outlined when the remaining substantial upgrades for the C42 can be expected.

The Swiss-based team are a highly creditable sixth in the Constructors’ Championship standings, 17 points clear of seventh-placed Haas.

However, a fine first half of the season has stalled, with no points scored since the Canadian Grand Prix in mid-June when Valtteri Bottas and Zhou Guanyu came home seventh and eighth respectively – which means it is now four blank races in succession.

“We have the next upgrade at Monza. Then something bigger is planned for Suzuka, but it could also be Austin,” said Vasseur, quoted by Auto Motor und Sport.

Alfa Romeo’s latest upgrade was a new floor for the Hungarian Grand Prix, in which Bottas was on course to end the barren run until encountering a “fuel system issue” that caused him to be the only retiree from the race in the closing stages. Zhou finished 13th.

Valtteri Bottas, ahead of Alfa Romeo team-mate Zhou Guanyu. Hungary, July 2022.
Valtteri Bottas on-track ahead of his Alfa Romeo team-mate Zhou Guanyu. Hungary, July 2022.

The Sauber operation are reported to have been increasing the focus on their 2023 car since the beginning of July, and they are reported to be among the majority of the teams who are unhappy with the changes to the floor regulations being proposed by the FIA for next season.

Six constructors, it has been claimed, are ready to challenge the plan to mandate a 25mm raising of the floor edges in order to try and eliminate porpoising.

In addition, flexi floors are to be clamped down on from this season’s next race, the Belgian Grand Prix, by way of a technical directive.

“One change often drags many others with it. We need the opposite. Stability of the rules to keep costs down,” said Vasseur, alluding to the F1 budget cap.

“I also don’t think much of the measuring from Spa onwards. What does the FIA do if the cars touch down hard at Eau Rouge as usual? Do they all have to ride 30 millimetres higher then?”

Vasseur has previously mentioned that an influx of Chinese sponsors, due to the presence of rookie Zhou as one of his team’s drivers, which had been predicted in the media had failed to materialise – the sum total on board is a mere two.

“It’s not enough for Chinese companies to just have a compatriot on board,” said Vasseur, who has still to decide whether Zhou or the team’s F2 prodigy Theo Pourchaire will partner Bottas next season.

“They only work with you if the performance is right as well.”