Ahead of the 2023 Formula 1 season, Alfa Romeo is seeking to learn from the short fallings of last year and address the one major weakness that undid its strong opening to 2022.
The Italian marque made a superb start to the second-ground effect era by scoring 51 points across the opening nine rounds of the season, but then only managed to amass a further 4 points through the remaining 13 rounds as the team progressively lost ground to their closest rivals.
Both Alpine and McLaren surged away from Alfa Romeo once the development race began, while only the technicality of a countback saved them from being overhauled by a resurgent Aston Martin after the two finished locked level on points in the fight for sixth in the Constructors’ standings.
While it still marked a wholly positive debut season for the team in the latest cycle of regulations, the team is aiming to collectively improve their speed of development for next season to reduce the chances of an alarming mid-season slump repeating itself.
“Around the summer shutdown, the pace at which (other teams) were developing or making changes on track was a little bit higher than ours,” Alfa Romeo’s head of track engineering Xavi Pujolar, said to Motorsport.com.
“I think we were developing at the same pace but were not able to produce at the same pace. And that’s what we saw, our packages came a little bit later.
“Our goal for next season is to try and pick up the pace on that side, to be more on par with the competition.
“Because if we could have had these developments a little bit earlier, we would have benefitted from them for more races, and it would have been better for our championship battle.”
Along with a shocking reliability record for both drivers, Valtteri Bottas was particularly riddled by Alfa Romeo’s advantage at the front of the midfield dwindling away at a rapid rate as the season unfolded.
Having scored in seven of the first nine races following his switch from Mercedes in the winter, the Finnish driver’s campaign tailed off significantly thereafter.
But, like Pujolar, Bottas is hopeful that the team can solely focus on improving their package in performance terms over the course of next season after seemingly sorting out their recurring reliability issues towards the end of last year.
“It was largely due to production, not having enough human resources to produce the parts.
“At the moment, other teams like Mercedes definitely have more staff and more resources to produce things faster,” the former race winner countered.
“On the other hand, all the reliability issues we had, we spent a lot of energy trying to solve them instead of trying to develop the car. That distracted us quite a bit in the middle of the year.
“Now that we’ve got the reliability down to a good level, let’s say, we can purely focus on the performance.”
Bottas has already expressed his wish to sit down for talks with Alfa Romeo on his long-term future early in the year ahead of the team’s transition to Audi in 2026.