From Silverstone onward, race preparations at Alfa Romeo will not be held back by a lack of spare parts, following internal production issues.
Alfa Romeo’s Head of Trackside Engineering, Xevi Pujolar, is optimistic that the team’s issues with in-house production of spare parts will be resolved in time for the British Grand Prix weekend.
The Hinwil-based outfit head to Silverstone off the back of their best team performance of the season, with Valtteri Bottas and Guanyu Zhou taking seventh and eighth place respectively.
Despite their performance, the team have faced delays in manufacturing spare parts over the last few race weekends.
Since their major car upgrades for the Spanish Grand Prix, the team have struggled to bring spares of the latest-specification components to race weekends.
Pujolar revealed that Alfa Romeo had been forced to run older-specification components in Friday practice in order to preserve the newer parts for later in the weekend.
“In terms of performance on Fridays, there has been a parts limitation,” Pujolar told media, including RacingNews365.com.
“This means we have been running an older package on Fridays. [The issues are] in terms of production and lacking enough parts spares.
“We’ve had some incidents at the beginning of the season, and then just to catch up with all the production of spare parts from the packages that we’re running, and in parallel [producing] the new packages, that’s something that has been the limitation.
“From Silverstone onwards, we are in a good position.”
Cautious Fridays down to high-risk circuits
In recent races, Alfa Romeo have had a habit of running quite anonymously on Fridays, before appearing to make big improvements over Saturday and Sunday.
Along with the team running older parts on Friday, Pujolar added that the drivers had been instructed not to take any unnecessary risks, owing to the unforgiving street circuits of the previous events.
“We were taking a bit of margin at these kind of tracks like Baku, Montreal and Monaco, where you are closer to the walls, just to make sure that if we have some damage on Friday, we don’t pay the consequences later on,” he said.
“So now it will be better for the next few races at least.”
Following Alfa Romeo’s strong start to the season, Pujolar added that the expectation is to challenge McLaren and Alpine for fourth place in the Constructors’ Championship.
“I think we can expect to be fighting at the top of the midfield, but we’ll need to see if teams will bring some [upgrade] packages to Silverstone,” Pujolar continued.
“So far, I will say that we’ve been pretty consistent at all the tracks and at different types of tracks and different types of aero efficiency as well.
“For the next couple of races, we expect to be fighting the top of the midfield with Alpine and McLaren, and we’ll see if we can get some more points.
“Double points. That’s our target. We are in a position where we want to be in Q3 with both cars.”