Home F1 Alfa Romeo’s ‘big step forward’ is not reflected in points · RaceFans

Alfa Romeo’s ‘big step forward’ is not reflected in points · RaceFans

Kimi Raikkonen, Alfa Romeo, Baku City Circuit, 2021

Accidents have prevented Alfa Romeo from reaping the benefits of the “big step forward” it has made with its car this year, says team manager Frederic Vasseur.

Kimi Raikkonen scored his first point of the season with 10th place in Azerbaijan last weekend. The team’s only other point score this season came at the previous race in Monaco, where Antonio Giovinazzi also finished 10th.

The team is eighth in the championship, 23 points behind the nearest rival in front. But Vasseur believes “looking at the position does not really tell the full story, as I think our performance has been much more positive than the total amount of points collected so far says.”

“As a team, we have taken a really big step forward from last season to this,” said Vasseur, “perhaps the greatest of all teams on the net.

“The data speaks for itself – just when you look at the qualification, the average gap from pole position fell by roughly one percentage point, while in the race we have also made significant progress over half a percentage point.

“In such a tight grid, it’s a big leap forward, and I think we are not yet done delivering the full potential of our package.”

Alfa Romeo’s power supply supplier Ferrari is believed to have made significant gains with its new engine in 2021, but Vasseur says Alfa Romeo’s chassis has also contributed.

“The whole C41 works better than its predecessor, and it would be unfair to point to a single element to give credit for the progress we have made,” he said. “The power unit has obviously taken a big step forward, but we have improved all aspects of our car and the result is visible on the track.”

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Vasseur said the team’s superior qualifying performance compared to last year demonstrates its progress. “We only had eight Q2 appearances in 2020, including when we put two cars in the third quarter in the rain in Turkey.” he said.

Giovinazzi had problems with pit stops in Bahrain and Spain

“Now after six races, we have already cleared Q1 eight times out of 12 possible, and we have a Q3 on pure profit – in the dry, in Monaco. Last weekend in Baku, we had the strongest pace we have had on Saturday all season, although the final positions on the net did not reflect that. ”

A mix of team error plus accident and debating official decisions explains why Alfa Romeo have only scored two points so far, Vasseur believes.

“Of course, there have also been some specific cases where we could and should have done better – a problem with Antonio’s [pit] stop in Bahrain as he ran in the points; Kimi’s crash in Portugal.

“But in many cases it has been something out of our control – Antonio’s race in Spain was ruined when the FIA ​​ranking system mistakenly prevented him from catching up, or when we lost two points we had scored with Kimi in Imola due to a controversial penalty, in a race, when Antonio’s barrel was also destroyed by a loose visor strip that was attached to the brake ducts.

“Questions like these really put pressure on delivering the perfect session every time, as there is no room for error when margins are so tight. We need to keep working to improve everything that is under our control – and then what is down to luck will hopefully take care of itself. ”

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