With more retirements than any other team, Fred Vasseur admits Alfa Romeo are leaking points they cannot afford to drop.
Valtteri Bottas has failed to finish three grands prix this season, all the result of reliability issues, while his team-mate Zhou Guanyu is up to five, only one of which was a crash.
From cooling problems to gearboxes to power loss to fuel system failures, the Alfa Romeo team-mates have recorded a range of reasons for their DNFs.
Team boss Vasseur concedes that has cast a shadow over what he believes is progress from the Hinwil-based team.
Zhou or Pourchaire for Alfa Romeo next year?
Alfa Romeo have a decision to make about whether to stick with Zhou Guanyu, or promote Theo Pourchaire from their academy.
“I think we did a step forward,” said Vasseur, quoted by Autosport. “We did a good step in terms of pure performance due to the different factors.
“As always, it’s never one thing.
“I think the Ferrari engine did a step forward. We did the same job on the chassis side also. And I think Valtteri and Zhou are performing. Altogether, it’s a good step.
“Now, in terms of results, we had also some issues in terms of reliability. This cost us a fortune in terms of points. Some events we were in very good shape, like Jeddah or Silverstone, and on some occasions with Zhou also.
“This is a real shame for us and for the championship. But it is like it is, and we just have to fix it for the second part of the season.”
The team began this season with their all-new C42 with a double points haul but have only managed one other since such has been their reliability failings.
The car, though, has shown good pace, with the team stringing together a run of five successive top-10 finishes from Australia to Monaco.
That has fallen by the wayside of late, with the team going into the summer break having not scored since Canada.
Vasseur is, however, still happy with Alfa Romeo’s performances to date.
“I think nobody knew what would be the outcome of the first qualy or the first test day,” he said. “We were all a bit surprised with the situation because it was a completely new car with no reference.
“We all developed on our own sides and we were all completely blind. But no. Surprised is not the right word because I knew we made a big effort for 2022 and I was expecting something like this. It’s a good feeling.”