Valtteri Bottas, Alfa Romeo, Losail International Circuit, 2023

Alfa Romeo ‘finally understand their upgrade’ Bottas believes as team target Williams

Formula 1

Posted on

| Written by and

Alfa Romeo believe they can beat Williams to seventh place in the constructors championship following their first double points score of the season last week in Qatar.

Valtteri Bottas and Zhou Guanyu took six points in Losail, moving the team past Haas into eighth place in the constructors championship. That leaves them seven points behind Williams, who have only scored points with one of their drivers, Alexander Albon, all season.

Following last week’s race Bottas said their performance showed they’ve unlocked the potential from an upgrade they brought two races earlier in Singapore.

“Definitely we closed the gap a little bit,” he said. “I feel like we definitely made some progress now and finally understand 100% the upgrades.”

Having enjoyed their best result of the season so far at a venue featuring largely medium-to-high cornering speeds and punishing temperatures, F1 will race at the Circuit of the Americas this weekend which features a mix of many different bends. Nonetheless Bottas is encouraged by the progress they showed in Qatar.

“Of course the next race is quite a different track again but it seemed like we were definitely a bit more confident this weekend than the other weekends,” he said.

Alfa Romeo’s head of trackside engineering Xevi Pujolar is also confident they can emerge on top in the four-way fight for seventh in the championship, as they will bring more parts for their car this weekend.

“We hope that in Austin it will be good with the package, with the progress we have done.” he said. “However we have got also some more things coming for Austin so we can close a bit more of the gap or be more comfortable fighting with our direct competitors.

“With our P8 I think Albon got two points [in the sprint race] but still our target I think is still realistic. We need to go for this P7, to go fighting Haas, AlphaTauri, Williams, it’s possible.”

For the second weekend in a row teams will have an extra chance to score points as it is a sprint event.

“We’ve got two opportunities there to score points with a sprint race and the main race,” said Pujolar. “Let’s see with what we learn here, with the package and with what we will have there, let’s see if we can make another step.

“It was a good boost for the entire team to score points with both cars and shows that we can we definitely can do it and we’ll push to achieve it.”

Bringing the F1 news from the source

RaceFans strives to bring its readers news directly from the key players in Formula 1. We are able to do this thanks in part to the generous backing of our RaceFans Supporters.

By contributing £1 per month or £12 per year (or the equivalent in other currencies) you can help cover the costs involved in producing original journalism: Travelling, writing, creating, hosting, contacting and developing.

We have been proudly supported by our readers for over 10 years. If you enjoy our independent coverage, please consider becoming a RaceFans Supporter today. As a bonus, all our Supporters can also browse the site ad-free. Sign up or find out more via the links below:

Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and go ad-free

2023 Qatar Grand Prix

Browse all 2023 Qatar Grand Prix articles

Author information

Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...
Claire Cottingham
Claire has worked in motorsport for much of her career, covering a broad mix of championships including Formula One, Formula E, the BTCC, British...

Got a potential story, tip or enquiry? Find out more about RaceFans and contact us here.

8 comments on “Alfa Romeo ‘finally understand their upgrade’ Bottas believes as team target Williams”

  1. It’s a little too late to have figured out how all the upgrades work on the car. I really hope their focus is on a more competitive 2024, instead of salvaging P7 in a disastrous 2023.

    1. I guess with not much changing, they will hope to carry what they learn about the car through to next season – it did seem from the start of the season like they were struggling to get a grip on how to set up their car and operate it, so that might be a bit of a help.

      Overall this year, this team has probably disappointed everyone with their performance.

  2. isthatglock21
    18th October 2023, 11:41

    Bottas is lucky af to even have a seat. Moaned for years at Mercedes at how awful it was that he only got 1 year contracts that somehow hurt his performance. He got his first long term deal & somehow flopped hard af. Too busy tryna be a meme, cycling & cosplaying an aussie. Vastly overpaid & despite his efforts his ‘brnad’ doesn’t justify £8m a year for Alfa, should belong to another rookie who frankly would bring more eyes to the team like Theo Pouchaire or even Durgovitch.

    1. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
      18th October 2023, 13:36

      He’s had a pretty solid year this season. His results get overlooked because of his bad luck. He suffered significant damage in 4 races this season, none of which were his fault and then had to retire through no fault of his own twice in recent races, then in the other two of the last 4 races, he scored points. Then in every race aside from Australia where he didn’t suffer from issues or bad luck, he’s been better than Zhou in every race. He’s doing fine as a team leader. Given how much better williams is, arguably, Albon should have a bigger gap over bottas than he does. Bottas quietly has been having a pretty good season this year.

      1. But there has been impressive underlying pace. It’s not like we constantly saw him having great quali performances or coming alive in races only to have unreliability or contact not of his making ruin great performances. And almost every driver will suffer bad luck like that over the course of the season. So, on average, he looks very average at best.

        1. there hasn’t been*

        2. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
          18th October 2023, 19:34

          Bottas has had much worse luck than most drivers this season though in terms of damage that wasn’t his fault that effected a lot of his races. As well as two retirements lately.

          1. I always liked Bottas as a person. I’ll be hoping he regains some of the pace we saw him have at Williams. But then again, Massa had great pace then. So, my suspicion is that Williams, in the hands of a Max or Fernando, could have been doing much greater things (like the Lotuses that flattered Kimi and Grosjean).

Comments are closed.