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.”
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2023 Qatar Grand Prix
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