Woefully down on 2022’s points tally, Alessandro Alunni Bravi says Alfa Romeo will have a new “concept and new ideas” on the grid next season.
Sixth in last year’s championship with 55 points, Alfa Romeo have been unable to build on that this season.
Falling to ninth in the championship with just 16 points on the board, and only four ahead of the beleaguered Haas outfit, 2023 has been a struggle for the team.
Rival teams ‘took a bigger step in the winter’
Lacking pure performance, Valtteri Bottas and Zhou Guanyu have complained about a lack of downforce, grip and general balance with the Ferrari-powered C43.
The team’s mid-season did at least put them back in the points after a five-race run outside of the top ten, but their gains haven’t been enough as they were overhauled by AlphaTauri.
Alunni Bravi, Alfa Romeo’s representative, says it’s not so much that Alfa Romeo have done worse than last season, it’s more that last year they benefitted from other teams’ troubles in the early part of the championship.
“The reason is simple,” Alunni Bravi, Alfa Romeo representative told Auto Motor und Sport. “We are in a different season. We cannot compare 2022 with 2023 for various reasons.
“In preparation for last season, most teams from the second half of the table sacrificed 2021 in order to fully embrace the new regulations.
“We scored 90 percent of our points in the first six races of 2022. We benefited from other teams having difficulty solving porpoising. If you remember the first races back then: we were even ahead of Mercedes on occasion. In front of Alpine and McLaren. That was a snapshot.”
He continued: “Teams like Mercedes were able to address the problems and return to their usual position.
“If we face reality, in the second part of the season, starting in June, we were always between eighth and tenth place. We drew on our points cushion.
“In the last three races, we were able to stay ahead of Aston Martin. Because we had previously introduced a new package in Austin and Suzuka: underbody, nose, front wing. That gave us some performance. We just crossed the finish line ahead of Aston Martin.
“So our true position was somewhere between seventh and tenth. And this is exactly the battle we are currently in.”
As for this season, Alunni Bravi accepts Alfa Romeo didn’t take a big enough step forward during the pre-season.
“This season shows us a completely different World Championship,” he said. “Aston Martin has of course taken a clear step forward. Other teams performed better than usual. We fight with Williams, Haas, and AlphaTauri.
“Our goal remains seventh place in the World Championship. The competition has raised the bar. There are teams who unfortunately took a bigger step in the winter than we did.”
He concedes Alfa Romeo need to make big changes next year, the first year they’ll potentially be back running under the Sauber name as they await Audi’s arrival in 2026.
“I think that we have exploited almost 100 percent of the development potential of this concept,” he said.
“We need other concepts and new ideas and have to approach more areas of the car. We’re talking about new components here – both on the mechanical and aerodynamic sides of the car.”