The Sauber-run squad is sixth in the F1 world constructors’ championship this season but has didn’t score any points during the past four races, following the team found points in seven of the opening nine rounds.
For the reason that run of poor results both Valtteri Bottas and Zhou Guanyu have already been blighted by mechanical problems, with the Finn forced out from the British Grand Prix with a gearbox issue and the Hungarian GP with a fuel system failure, while his teammate retired from the French GP with power unit trouble.
Zhou’s rookie campaign also took popular in his huge crash in the beginning of the British GP, when he was flipped over after colliding with George Russell and was sent tumbling on the tyre barrier.
Regardless of the team’s reliability woes and, sometimes, misfortune it has still comprehensively outscored its 2021 total points haul when it finished ninth in the constructors’ standings.
Consequently, team chief Vasseur feels the squad has made considerable performance gains beneath the new F1 technical regulations sufficient reason for its new driver line-up of Bottas and Zhou, but has been held back by its unreliability.
“I believe we did a step of progress. We did an excellent part of terms of pure performance, because of the different facets,” Vasseur said.
“As always, it’s never a very important factor. I believe the Ferrari engine did a step of progress. We did exactly the same job on the chassis side also. And I believe that Valtteri and Zhou are performing. Altogether, it is a good step.
“Now, when it comes to results, we’d also some issues when it comes to reliability. This cost us a lot of money with regards to points, some events we were in excellent shape, like Jeddah or Silverstone, and on some occasions with Zhou also.
Valtteri Bottas, Alfa Romeo C42
Photo by: Antonin Vincent / DPPI
“It is a real shame for all of us, and for the championship. Nonetheless it is like it really is, and we have to correct it for the next portion of the season.”
Even through the missed opportunities because of crashes and mechanical problems, Vasseur still feels Alfa Romeo are meeting his expectations in the best section of the midfield battle.
“I believe nobody knew what will be the outcome of the initial qualy on the initial test day,” he said. “We were all a little surprised with the problem, since it was a totally new car without reference.
“Most of us developed on our very own sides, and we were all completely blind. But no. Surprised isn’t the proper word, because I knew that people made a large effort for 2022, and I was expecting something similar to this. It is a good feeling.”
Alfa Romeo includes a 17-point advantage over nearest rivals and fellow Ferrari power unit customers Haas, while AlphaTauri is 24 points back on the Swiss squad with nine rounds to go.