The Formula 1 season of 2023 showcases a fiercely contested midfield scenario, marked by teams rapidly implementing parts that can significantly alter positions. However, amidst the intense competition, Alfa Romeo has been subtly falling behind in recent times.
The Austrian Grand Prix saw Valtteri Bottas and Zhou position at 14th and 17th respectively. Despite Bottas’ race being hindered by front wing damage, Zhou had his own battles with a lack of speed, ending up a lap behind in the 12th place. Only AlphaTauri and Haas had less satisfactory races.
With Haas’ Nico Hulkenberg scoring points in the sprint, Alfa Romeo fell to the eighth spot in the standings, leading Williams by merely two points.
When F1 Flow.com inquired whether Zhou was apprehensive about Alfa Romeo’s slower pace in introducing updates amidst the rigorous development battle of 2023, he confessed the difficulty of staying competitive with other teams.
Zhou stated, “It’s always going to be a challenge. Larger teams have the capacity to implement numerous upgrades if one falls short. In contrast, we have to stick with what we have until we strategize for the season. Despite our best efforts, it hasn’t been easy, and the team has had a challenging few weekends.”
He further added, “Everyone is obviously introducing upgrades. We’re not even discussing tenths or hundredths, but rather thousandths of a second. I’ve missed Q2 twice by a margin of 0.006s over two laps.”
Zhou Guanyu, Alfa Romeo C43
Photo by: Mark Sutton / F1 Flow Images
Alfa Romeo’s 2023 C43 model does not have any glaring weaknesses but suffers from insufficient grip and aerodynamic load, an issue the team is attempting to rectify.
The enhancements prepared for the upcoming British Grand Prix at Silverstone mark the next phase of the process. Given the neck-and-neck race in the midfield, the Hinwil-based team is hopeful that these improvements can boost their qualifying performance.
The team’s head of trackside engineering, Xevi Pujolar, stated, “The competition is incredibly tight. Each race can tilt the balance one way or the other. Unfortunately, we didn’t have enough to battle for points this time. Part of it is due to our subpar qualifying performance, which we need to concentrate on improving. However, we have some new components coming for Silverstone, and we aim to bounce back and reclaim the P7 spot in the championship.”
Bottas echoed the need for upgrades but cautioned that more than the planned Silverstone package would be required to reverse the team’s fortune. He said, “It seems like some teams made strides this weekend, and we didn’t bring anything new. The margins are so slim that you’re quickly left behind. So, we certainly need those upgrades and even more in the near future.”
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Alfa Romeo’s Performance in F1 2023
What is the current issue facing Alfa Romeo in the 2023 F1 season?
Alfa Romeo has been facing challenges in keeping pace with its midfield competitors due to a slow rate of introducing updates and insufficient grip and aerodynamic load in their C43 model.
How did Zhou and Bottas perform in the Austrian Grand Prix?
Both Zhou and Valtteri Bottas faced challenges in the Austrian Grand Prix. Zhou ended up in the 12th place, a lap behind, while Bottas, whose race was compromised by front wing damage, was unable to perform at his best.
What improvements is Alfa Romeo planning for the British Grand Prix at Silverstone?
Alfa Romeo plans to introduce some enhancements to their C43 car for the British Grand Prix at Silverstone. These improvements aim to increase grip and aerodynamic load, hopefully enhancing the car’s overall performance.
What is Alfa Romeo’s current standing in the 2023 F1 championship?
As of the Austrian Grand Prix, Alfa Romeo is positioned eighth in the standings, leading Williams by merely two points.
What does Valtteri Bottas say about the situation at Alfa Romeo?
Bottas acknowledges the need for improvements and warns that more than the Silverstone package is needed to turn the team’s fortunes around. He points out the slim margins in the competition and the necessity of rapid advancements.