Alfa Romeo must do better in "chaotic" races - Vasseur

Alfa Romeo must maximise "chaotic" Formula 1 races better after missing opportunities that would have given it a "completely different" championship last year, says team boss Frederic Vasseur.

Alfa Romeo must do better in "chaotic" races - Vasseur

The Alfa team started 2019 brightly with new signing Kimi Raikkonen scoring points in the first four races and had eight top-10 finishes in 12 grands prix by the summer break.

However, in Azerbaijan, Raikkonen and Antonio Giovinazzi were eighth and ninth fastest but neither was able to take those positions on the starting grid, and the team left Baku with just a single point as Raikkonen charged from a pitlane start to 10th.

Raikkonen and Giovinazzi then lost their seventh and eight-place results in the rain-hit German Grand Prix because of penalties for technical infringements.

Had Alfa simply converted its grid positions in Baku and kept its Hockenheim scores, it would have gone into the summer break in fifth place in the championship with at least 16 more points.

Read Also:

Instead, it had already slipped back from the fight for fourth in the constructors' championship and eventually slumped to eighth by the end of the season.

"The season could have been completely different, but it's true for all 10 teams," Vasseur told Motorsport.com.

"We missed two big opportunities, one in Baku when Antonio had to start from the back and Kimi from the pitlane. In Hockenheim we were penalised. It would have been a completely different championship.

"I think we had during the season three chaotic races: Baku, Hockenheim and Brazil. It makes no sense to lead the group if 100% of the cars finish the race because you score the points for seventh and eighth, or seventh and 10th.

"If you are the top of the group, and then you have crashes, then you can score 20 points."

Alfa failed to 'win' the midfield battle at any race this season, which meant even on its strongest weekends it tended to pick up fewer points than its rivals did on their peaks.

This changed at the Brazilian Grand Prix, where Raikkonen and Giovinazzi finished a mad race in fourth and fifth.

That gave it the second-biggest haul of any midfield team for a single race all season, and stopped it from scoring fewer points than in 2018.

"What is important for me is that we close the gap compared to the leader drastically compared to last year," said Vasseur.

"We were 2.6% off the fastest team on average [in 2018], now we are 1.8 or 1.9%. It's a good step forward and we have to do the same [in 2020]. We have to keep the same motivation and so on.

"Sometimes the results you are getting on track is not reflecting the performance or the pace. On a performance basis I think we did a good job."

shares
comments
Bottas aims to make Mercedes renewal a "no-brainer"

Previous article

Bottas aims to make Mercedes renewal a "no-brainer"

Next article

McLaren planning to run at budget cap level

McLaren planning to run at budget cap level
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Teams Alfa Romeo
Author Scott Mitchell
The changes Barcelona needs to provide a modern-day F1 spectacle Prime

The changes Barcelona needs to provide a modern-day F1 spectacle

Formula 1’s visits to Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya over recent years have been met with familiar criticisms despite tweaks here and there to the track to improve racing. With the 2021 Spanish Grand Prix largely going the same way, proper solutions need to be followed to achieve F1’s wider targets

Spanish Grand Prix Driver Ratings Prime

Spanish Grand Prix Driver Ratings

Often described as Formula 1's laboratory, the Circuit de Catalunya-Barcelona gave the clearest demonstration yet of the pecking order in 2021. And it's the key discrepancies from that order which illuminate who is excelling, and who needs to hit the reset button.

How Red Bull's deja vu set Hamilton on the winning path in Spain Prime

How Red Bull's deja vu set Hamilton on the winning path in Spain

An aggressive first corner move from Max Verstappen appeared to have set the Red Bull driver on course for victory in the Spanish Grand Prix. But canny strategy from Mercedes - combined with the absence of Red Bull's number two from the lead group - allowed Lewis Hamilton to pull off a demoralising reversal

The Barcelona practice times that prove Red Bull has hidden pace Prime

The Barcelona practice times that prove Red Bull has hidden pace

Lewis Hamilton led the way in Friday practice for the 2021 Spanish Grand Prix, but there was one major encouraging sign for Red Bull. However, making good on that gain will require Max Verstappen to avoid repeating a mistake that left him well down the FP2 order...

Formula 1
May 7, 2021
Why McLaren doesn’t doubt Ricciardo can escape his ‘dark’ place Prime

Why McLaren doesn’t doubt Ricciardo can escape his ‘dark’ place

Three points finishes from as many starts represents a decent opening innings on paper, but Daniel Ricciardo has endured a tough start to his McLaren career - only magnified his teammate's excellent form. Yet both he and the team have good reason to expect a turnaround soon.

Formula 1
May 6, 2021
What needs to “change” for Red Bull is ending Verstappen’s errors Prime

What needs to “change” for Red Bull is ending Verstappen’s errors

OPINION: Going up against the dominant force of Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton was always going to demand the best from Red Bull and Max Verstappen. But after making a couple more errors during the Portuguese Grand Prix, the Dutch driver showed there's a small gap he still needs to close in the 2021 Formula 1 title fight.

Formula 1
May 5, 2021
The "subtle" Red Bull upgrades that kept it in the Portugal F1 mix Prime

The "subtle" Red Bull upgrades that kept it in the Portugal F1 mix

Red Bull's Portuguese Grand Prix fortunes were decidedly second best to Mercedes', but the result skews the potential that the team had at Portimao. With a new set of updates, the team looks good going forward into the rest of 2021's spicy F1 competition

Formula 1
May 3, 2021
Portuguese Grand Prix driver ratings Prime

Portuguese Grand Prix driver ratings

The 2021 Portuguese GP will for several drivers go down as a weekend of missed opportunities amid imperfect track conditions that caused struggles with tyre warm-up. But the performances of a select few stood out from the crowd

Formula 1
May 3, 2021