Alfa Romeo can now target points on a regular basis in Formula 1 owing to the gains it has made year-on-year, according to team boss Frederic Vasseur.
Alfa Romeo finished a low-key eighth in last year’s standings and scored only eight points across the course of the 17-race campaign.
But it was firmly in the mix in the middle of the pack in Bahrain with Antonio Giovinazzi 12th in qualifying – its best dry-weather one-lap result since 2019 – while Kimi Raikkonen and Giovinazzi classified 11th and 12th respectively in race trim.
It has led to renewed optimism from the squad that it can reclaim its place in the thick of the midfield through the course of 2021.
“We had a solid start of the season and that’s a good basis upon which to build, starting from this weekend,” relayed Vasseur.
“We have made a considerable step forward in performance, possibly one of the biggest across the field, and we are now in the midfield fight, but the top 10 is where you have to finish to bring home the points so that has to be our objective for Imola.
“Last year, we had our best result of the season here and we can take that as an encouragement, although we know the form we showed in 2020 is only a vague indicator of what we can expect this time around.
“We have seen how difficult it is to overtake around this circuit, so our Saturday performance will be crucial to make sure we get to the race in the best possible position to bring home points.”
Giovinazzi added that “what we saw in Bahrain gave us a big confidence boost and we are looking forward to seeing how competitive we can be in Imola.
“We know we can be in the fight, but we also know we need to deliver a flawless weekend to maximise our returns: the margins are very small in the midfield, especially in qualifying, and every little detail makes a difference.”