Alfa Romeo team boss Frédéric Vasseur says the Swiss outfit “has what it takes” to become a regular top-ten contender this season despite the disappointing start to its 2020 campaign.
Alfa has only put two points on the board so far, courtesy of Antonio Giovinazzi’s P9 finish in the opening round in Austria.
But the team has fared even worse in qualifying, with neither Giovonazzi nor Kimi Raikkonen succeeding in getting through Q1, with both drivers closing out the grid at the Hungaroring.
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Vasseur says the Hinwil squad took the opportunity to assess its performance shortfall and designate the flaws impacting its C39 before heading to Silverstone.
“The next three races will be another crucial juncture of the season,” explained the Frenchman.
“We come from the first real break, after the opening triple header: it’s been the first chance for the teams to regroup, assess the situation and start addressing the rest of the year, so it will be important to show we have made use of the time since Hungary to make progress.
“We have a much more defined idea of where the strengths, and weaknesses, of our package are and we keep working together to make another step forward after what we have shown in the first few races.”
The rivalry among F1’s midfield contenders is as fierce as ever this season. But Vasseur casts a positive outlook on his team’s prospects despite its slow start.
“The midfield battle is still close and I have full confidence that our team has what it takes, both in terms of personnel and machinery, to score regularly,” added the Alfa boss.
Raikkonen, F1’s senior citizen, laments Alfa’s lack of results but shares Vasseur’s perspective.
“The first few races haven’t been ideal in terms of results but the important thing is that we are moving in the right direction,” said the Finn.
“We have identified the areas where we need to improve and hopefully we will get to Silverstone with the solutions needed to give us some extra competitivity.
“We have seen we can fight against most midfield cars on Sunday and we are confident we can come home with points from either of these two races.”