Alfa Romeo is back in the game

Having struggled last season, the team led by Frédéric Vasseur has made great progress in 2022. The Italians, who are 6th in the championship, have collected four times more points than in the previous campaign. The arrival of the experienced Valtteri Bottas has given the Hinwil stable a new boost, along with the youngsters of Guanyu Zhou.

Alfa Romeo (6th, 55 points): unexpected comeback

From the last to the gates of the top-5, who could say such a good striker than Alfa Romeo? The Swiss team has scored 10 points out of the 22 Grand Prix scheduled for the 2022 calendar, which is 4 times more than last season. Even better, Frédéric Vasseur’s men had two weekends with more than 10 points at Imola and Canada. With 55 units registered compared to 13 cars in 2021, Alfa Romeo has taken a real step forward. Valtteri Bottas and Guanyu Zhou, replacing Kimi Raikkonen and Antonio Giovinazzi, are also the reason for this improvement.

Valtteri Bottas (10th, 49 points): on alternating current

Away from Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton, Valtteri Bottas found stability in the midfield where he played the leading role. After living in the British legend’s shadow for five seasons, the Finn also stepped up as a coach to best support upstart Guanyu Zhou. The adventure at Alfa Romeo started perfectly for the N°77 with 7 points in the first 9 races. It notably finished in 6th place twice (Bahrain and Barcelona) and 7th place twice (Miami and Canada), results that the Swiss team never achieved last year. Unfortunately for the former Williams driver, a run of 10 Grands Prix without a top-10 finish was to begin from Silverstone to Mexico, where he finished 10th. A convincing first season for Valtteri Bottas at his new team. His experience and racing science acquired over the years inevitably helped Alfa Romeo to progress. As a bonus, Valtteri Bottas scored the team’s best qualifying result since 2019, 5th on the Miami GP grid. The choice to hire Finn is therefore a winning bet.

In Miami, Bottas scored his team’s best performance in qualifying since 2019: a fine 5th place. © Sport badge.

Guanyu Zhou (18th, 6 points): The wonder of Silverstone

Guanyu Zhou, the first Chinese driver to compete in Formula 1, knew what was expected of him. His first-class adventure got off to a perfect start with a top-10 finish at the inaugural race in Bahrain. Less prominent than his teammate, 3rd in F2 2021 has gone through a logical learning curve for beginners. The Shanghai native offered his best result of the season in Canada with 8th place. Again in the points at Monza (10th), Guanyu Zhou had a scary moment, especially at Silverstone a few weeks ago. Shot in the back by George Russell, the Chinese single-seater flew into British skies before rolling over and continuing on the roof. He finished his race behind the safety rail, against the fence protecting the spectators. Despite this horrific accident, Guanyu Zhou emerged unscathed, proving that safety in Formula 1 continues to approach perfection.

Season 2023: Still Bottas and Zhou, Vasseur too?

With time to line up alongside Valtteri Bottas on the pipes, Théo Pourchaire has seen Guanyu Zhou renewed for next season. This year, the French pilot, who is the vice-champion of F2, will play the role of the 3rd driver in Alfa Romeo. If the two drivers are sure to be there, the team manager is not yet.

With the departure of Mattia Binotto from Ferrari, the position of team principal is now vacant. Among the most mentioned names is Frédéric Vasseur, who held this position at Alfa Romeo. If no decision has been made yet, joining the Scuderia would be a big challenge for the Frenchman. Meanwhile, the drivers of the Swiss team will be working hard to keep this place next year and why not get even closer to the top 5.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *