Failing to score in the last two races, Valtteri Bottas says that while Alfa Romeo have made a step forward, that’s been negated by their rivals’ gains.
Scoring just nine points in the first nine races of this season, Alfa Romeo’s best result being Bottas’ season-opening P8 in Bahrain, the team brought an extensive upgrade package to the British Grand Prix.
But while it could be argued that didn’t live up to its billing given Bottas was their best-placed finisher in 12th place, the Finn says Alfa’s improvements were negated by their rivals also taking a step forward.
Valtteri Bottas: We’re not meeting the targets we’ve set ourselves
“Definitely we made a step but also other teams need to make steps,” he said. “That’s the name of the game, so need to find a bit more.
“We don’t have anything coming in the next two events but after the summer break, so the guys and girls need to work really hard in the factory to bring some new bits.”
It’s been a difficult start to the season for the Hinwil-based team with their nine points leaving them down in ninth place in the championship.
Although they are just two behind Williams and Haas, Formula 1’s closely-bunched midfield has made it even more difficult for the sport’s backmarkers to score points.
And backmarkers is where Alfa Romeo now find themselves prompting Bottas to suggest its time to focus on 2024 and next year’s car.
“I think at this point, we’re approaching halfway off the season, and we’ve not been able to really move up the order,” Bottas conceded.
“At some point, we’ll decide when it’s going to be 100 percent focus for next year. And I’m sure the discussions are going to be made soon.
“We were expecting to be better than last year, but we just didn’t find enough during the winter and the beginning of the season so far.”
“We’re not meeting the targets we’ve set ourselves.” he accepted.
The topic of teams turning their attention to next year’s cars recently became a hot one when Lewis Hamilton proposed a 1 August date as the start time in order to ensure no one gets the jump on their rivals.
Bottas, however, feels that’s something every team should get to decided themselves even if it means another runaway season for Red Bull.
He told PlanetF1.com’s Thomas Maher: “I think they deserve it. They’ve done a great job with the car. They seem to have a really strong team overall.
“I don’t see a point of trying to limit someone’s performance. I think already, with the regulations nowadays, if you win the Constructors Championship’, you are already then penalised in terms of wind tunnel time.
“So I think, in the longer term, that will stabilise things. It’s the nature of the sport.
“There are always periods when somebody’s dominating, and so on, so I wouldn’t change anything – it’s the name of the game. The people who build the best car deserve it.”