In 2020 Alfa Romeo experienced a changeable year, partly thanks to the disappointing Ferrari engine. The team seemed to have made a step towards the middle bracket last season. Antonio Giovinazzi and Kimi Raikkonen together collected thirteen points, compared to eight the year before. In the constructors’ championship, however, the Italian formation moved from eighth to ninth place, partly thanks to the strong year of Williams. The British team particularly benefited from the chaotic matches in Hungary and Belgium. It scored quite a few points there.
Frederic Vasseur had mixed feelings about 2021. The Frenchman noted that the team’s performance had improved, but this did not pay off in points. “Based on the speed, we did quite well,” said the Alfa Romeo team principal. “It was a big step compared to the year before. Probably the biggest one [van het veld] in terms of sheer speed relative to pole position. On the other hand, we also missed opportunities. We were involved in a crash in Budapest and also missed opportunities in Spa. In Bahrain we had problems during a stop [bij Giovinazzi] which cost us two points. Kimi . spun on Imola [Raikkonen] in the warm-up round. That was four points. It gives a weird feeling. Your only critical performance indicators are points. It doesn’t matter if you are faster, but then you don’t score any points.”
Frustrating season for Alfa Romeo
Vasseur acknowledged when looking back at the season that it was a source of frustration for Alfa Romeo. The Frenchman further noted that the Italian formation was underperforming around the summer, just as Williams had strong finishes. “It went up and down during the season,” Vasseur continued. “We had a good start until about Monaco, but in the summer we had a tough period. Perhaps we were already on holiday. I have no idea. In the last part of the season it got better again. It remains difficult to to analyze, although it is clear based on the results. If you look at pure speed, sometimes a tenth changes the whole picture. In Saudi Arabia we got into Q3, but with a tenth less we didn’t even get through Q1 “We have to be careful with this when we judge our season. If I can judge our year I would say that our pace was good, but we delivered bad results.”
Next season Alfa Romeo will come up with a completely new line-up. Raikkonen has finally put an end to his Formula 1 career and is replaced by former Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas. The Chinese Guanyu Zhou takes the place of Giovinazzi, who continues his career in Formula E.