Frédéric Vasseur, the outgoing Team Principal of Alfa Romeo F1 Team ORLEN, says finishing sixth in the Constructors’ Championship in the 2022 FIA Formula 1 World Championship was the ‘best scenario’ for the team, particularly on the back of a disappointing pre-season testing programme.
Vasseur, who will take on the role of Team Principal at Scuderia Ferrari in January, was happy that Alfa Romeo were able to make a significant jump up the order in 2022 after a few seasons fighting towards the back of the pack and secure sixth place in the standings.
He knows the team still have things to improve on, but it was pleasing to see the gap to the front close, while developments across the year also helped them consolidate their position towards the front of the midfield battle.
“It was the best scenario that we could imagine,” said Vasseur to Motorsport.com. “For sure, we still have to improve, and everything is not perfect. But at the end of the day, we are in a decent position.
“In terms of pure performance, we closed the gap with the top, and I’m also more than pleased with the development that we did over the season.
“The last three or four events [of the season], the pace was really good. We had bad momentum in the summer, for different reasons, but it is like it is.”
Alfa Romeo went into the 2022 season on the backfoot after a woeful shakedown and pre-season test at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya where running was severely limited due to technical issues, but Vasseur was delighted with how the team responded, with the reward being a double top ten finish for Valtteri Bottas and Zhou Guanyu in the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix.
“It’s true that we had a very tough shakedown and T1 at Barcelona,” Vasseur added. “It was very tough for the team. We had a technical issue and damage on the car, and we made a very, very low mileage over these three days.
“I was quite worried about the situation. But at the other end, thanks to the team, we had a very good reaction and we were able to come back to T2 in Bahrain with a decent solution, and to be competitive in Bahrain for the race.”