Alfa Romeo Technical Director Jan Monchaux has highlighted an improvement to reliability and development through the season as two areas the team will focus on in the 2023 F1 season.
After two seasons cemented near the back of the grid, Alfa Romeo stormed out of the blocks at the start of the sport’s newest technical overhaul to accumulate 51 points within the opening nine rounds and be firmly in the battle for fourth spot in the Constructors’ Championship.
However, the Italian outfit rapidly slipped behind the likes of Alpine and McLaren in the development race, eventually only holding off a resurgent late-season charge from Aston Martin for sixth place in the teams’ standings on countback.
While Monchaux believes that most of the teams will recover the deficit from the rule changes imposed last year in time for the start of this season, the Hinwil side’s technical chief has remarked that sustaining their competitiveness throughout 2023 will be the biggest challenge.
“The rule change, I think the order of magnitude, let’s call it half a second lap time loss, which I will assume is more or less plus or minus a tenth everywhere. And I have no doubt that most of the teams will have recovered those losses,” Monchaux said.
“Then it’s a matter of how much more have you been able to put on to the car for the start of the season. But even more importantly for us, how much more you can put [on] during the season because we started very strong last year and at some point struggled a bit more to also bring performance to the car and it’s gonna be a 23 races season.
“And if there’s one thing we also learned last year is that the season is not over until the last lap in Abu Dhabi because it’s the last lap where we finished P6 with about half a second ahead of Vettel.
“And we had highs, we had downs, but we need to also as a team, and this I think was very clear from all the reviews we’ve been doing, that we can’t give up.
“So one would be what it is, maybe it would be very good. Maybe it will be a bit disappointed. Yeah, okay, turn the page. There’s still 22 races and I have no doubt that these guys, but also the team at home, the 500 people also will be pushing very hard to then recover what needs to be recovered if it is or build an advantage if we would be at the higher part of the midfield.”
Reliability issues were also at the centre of Alfa Romeo’s problems as an area that hampered both its points tally and overall track time last year, with Monchaux optimistic that those issues can be left behind Alfa Romeo in 2023.
“The car hasn’t run yet. So the reliability is perfect, and I just assume it will stay as this,” he said.
“We’ve spent a lot of effort and working hours to improve our processes internally, mainly on the cooler side where we had a weakness last year, at least in the first part of the season, and touch wood, I don’t have any here, but I’m very confident we have left these issues behind us.”
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