Formula 1

McLaren, Alpine ‘A Step Ahead’ of Alfa Romeo throughout 2022 – Xevi Pulojar

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Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd

Xevi Pulojar believes the McLaren F1 Team and BWT Alpine F1 Team were too far ahead of Alfa Romeo F1 Team ORLEN during the 2022 FIA Formula 1 World Championship season, and even if they had a more reliable car, they would still have finished behind them.

Alfa Romeo had a much-improved 2022 season and finished sixth in the Constructors’ Championship but were a hundred points and four points behind fifth placed McLaren, and a further fourteen points back from Alpine.

The season started promisingly for Alfa Romeo, with Valtteri Bottas scoring points in seven of the first nine races, with Zhou Guanyu scoring twice in the same period.  However, the second half of the season was a very different story, with only four more points being scored, three for Bottas and one for Zhou.

However, reliability and retirements cost Alfa Romeo dearly, with both Bottas and Zhou retiring six times (Bottas was classified in the Hungarian Grand Prix despite retiring late on, as was Zhou in France).  They had more retirements than any other team on the grid.

Pulojar, the Head of Trackside Engineering at Alfa Romeo, said that whilst the pace of the C42-Ferrari was strong, they did not have the car capable of being either Alpine or McLaren in 2022, although they were not helped by their dreadful reliability issues.

“I think they are still a step ahead,” Pulojar is quoted as saying by PlanetF1.com.  “I think what we would have achieved, it would have been more margin to Aston Martin, but still to the level of Alpine or McLaren, we will need one more step.

“And that’s what we will be working on next year, but still now is consolidating on being P6 and looking to one step more.

“But it’s a few areas, performance now was good again in the last few races, but still the areas that we need to improve, the races, starts, lap one and many other areas that we have been still some margin, and that is where we will be much better prepared for next year.”

Looking ahead to 2023, Pulojar says Alfa Romeo are aiming to be even more competitive than they were in 2022, and they will benefit from the additional income of finishing sixth in the standings.

“It’s important for us because next year will be even more competitive than this year,” said Pulojar.  “I think not only on that side, but we have seen we still have got many weak points that we now will have time to work on and prepare.

“We had some advantage at the beginning of the season, probably next year will be a bit more difficult from the beginning, everybody will be very close together, and now we just need to get ready for another good fight from the beginning next year.

“And all that, being P6, it will be a good help to get ready for that new challenge as a team.”

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