The first half of the 2023 Formula 1 season did not match expectations for Alfa Romeo. The team managed just nine points over the first 11 races of the season, and currently sit in ninth place in the Constructors’ Standings, ahead of only AlphaTauri.
With the second half of the season about to get underway, the team is “eager” to put the first half behind them, and make the most of their points-scoring chances in the remaining races.
Starting with the Dutch Grand Prix this weekend.
“Zandvoort marks our return from a couple of weeks off, and it will be important to hit the ground running,” said Team Representative Alessandro Alunni Bravi in Alfa Romeo’s media preview of the Dutch Grand Prix. “We are motivated to get back on track and do what we do best: the last few races before the break didn’t quite match our expectations, but we have now put everything behind us, worked on what we learnt in those races, and we are now eager to start the second half of the season.”
The highlight of the season so far for Zhou Guanyu came at the Hungarian Grand Prix, where he qualified in fifth, his best result in F1. However, that was followed by heartbreak early in the race itself, as Zhou experienced a failure at the start and limped to a 16th-place finish. That start touched off a chain reaction that saw both Alpine drivers knocked out of the race.
The second half of the season, in Zhou’s mind, gives the team a chance to get “back to business.”
“Having a break is always good, especially in such a hectic season, but I’m really keen to get back to business now,” said Zhou. “We showed improvements in pace in the last few rounds and we need to keep building on those: we enter the new race weekend, and the second half of the season, ready to give all of our best out to claim important points and get back where we belong.”
For Valtteri Bottas, who won a costume contest — and perhaps the F1 summer shutdown itself — at Steamboat Springs last weekend, he believes that the team can get back into the points, starting this weekend. “The team put in a lot of work before the break, having analysed our performance from our most recent races; although we didn’t score points, we showed some promising signs when it comes to pace, and I am confident we can put up a good fight to get back into the top ten,” said Bottas. “As always, it will be important to start well from the very first sessions: the battle is close and there’s no margin for error.”
With the team lingering in ninth place, a race to the top of the table is out of the question. But Alunni Bravi set the marker for the team over the final half of the season.
Right now Alfa Romeo sits just two points behind Williams and Haas, who are tied with 11 points each. At the moment Williams enjoys the tiebreaker with Haas, given Alex Albon’s seventh-place finish at the Canadian Grand Prix. But Alunni Bravi believes Alfa Romeo can not just catch those two, but surpass them over the rest of the season.
“Our focus, however, remains firmly on track and on the target we have set for ourselves, to finish ahead of the pack we are battling right now and claim P7 in the championship,” said the Team Representative. “With ten races to go, there are still several opportunities to do well and add points to our tally; the battle throughout the field is tight, and we are confident we have it in us to turn the tide and come out on top of our battle.”