Frédéric Vasseur admitted he was ‘impressed, but not surprised’ with the way the Alfa Romeo F1 Team ORLEN began their 2022 Formula 1 campaign in Bahrain, with the Hinwil-based outfit scoring points with both Valtteri Bottas and Zhou Guanyu last Sunday.
After a less than straightforward pre-season testing programme, the team showed good speed and performance throughout the weekend at the Bahrain International Circuit, with Bottas claiming sixth and Zhou tenth to give the team nine points towards the Constructors’ Championship.
Vasseur, the Team Principal at Alfa Romeo, says the level of confidence within the team in Bahrain was obvious to see, and he hopes they can carry the momentum from last weekend into this weekend’s Saudi Arabian Grand Prix at the Jeddah Corniche Circuit.
“Starting the season with two cars in the points is a great feeling, and to be back on track within a week allows us to channel this enthusiasm and momentum into hopefully another good result,” said Vasseur.
“I was impressed, but not surprised, by how the team approached the weekend and by the level of confidence we had in our means: we know the whole team worked well during the year leading to this and we are eager to show the world what we can do.”
Vasseur says there is a feeling within the team that they have a competitive car in 2022 and a pair of drivers determined to get the best out of it, although he remains cautious that the challenge ahead of everyone is going to be tough, including this weekend in Saudi Arabia.
“There is a clear feeling we have a competitive car and a determined pair of drivers, and this is boosting morale for everyone in the team,” he said. “However, we are under no illusion about the challenge ahead: we saw how close the field is in Bahrain and how competitive qualifying and the race are.
“We know we need to be at the top of our game and deliver another good weekend: if we do that, having cars in the points is a realistic prospect.”