Ahead of this weekend’s Dutch Grand Prix, Alfa Romeo F1 Team Orlen Team Principal Frédéric Vasseur has placed high importance on a strong qualifying result if the team is to snap their five-race streak of finishing outside the points.
The Swiss-based team have lost a substantial amount of ground in the midfield battle to the likes of the McLaren F1 Team and BWT Alpine F1 Team after such a promising start to the season.
Alfa Romeo F1 Team Orlen now find themselves competing with Haas F1 Team, Scuderia AlphaTauri and Aston Martin Aramco Cognizant Formula One Team to keep a hold of sixth place in the constructors standings.
The Alfa Romeo team have now failed to take a single point from their last five races as Valtteri Bottas was forced into an early retirement in Sunday’s race after avoiding a spinning Nicholas Latifi; he found himself beached in the gravel at Les Combes.
While for Zhou Guanyu, the Chinese driver found himself stuck towards the back of a DRS-train in Sunday’s race and was unable to make any real progress around the Spa-Francorchamps Circuit.
Despite the team once again leaving a Grand Prix weekend empty-handed, Vasseur has taken great confidence from the strong race pace that Zhou Guanyu was able to deliver during the Belgian Grand Prix.
Vasseur believes that if the team can achieve a strong qualifying on Saturday at Zandvoort, the strong race pace in the C42 will guide them to a points finish on Sunday.
“Closed the Spa chapter, it is time to head back to the track again this week in Zandvoort for the second part of this triple-header. Last year’s Dutch Grand Prix was one of the best events I’ve seen, the organisers put up an incredible show and I’m really looking forward to the same feeling this year.
“We knew Belgium would be a difficult weekend when we elected to take those power unit and gearbox penalties, and yet we looked at realistically bringing home points: the pace we showed on track is definitely a positive on which we must build. Qualifying is increasingly becoming a defining session for the whole weekend in this tight midfield: if we start in a good position, we have the speed to stay there.
“We have to make sure we are at the top of our performances, to get the most out of the weekend and place ourselves back where we belong: in the top ten at the chequered flag.”