FormulaNerds Cut To The Race Podcast

F1 Grand Prix of Canada MONTREAL, QUEBEC - JUNE 19: Guanyu Zhou of Alfa Romeo and China and Lance Stroll of Aston Martin and Canada during the F1 Grand Prix of Canada at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve on June 19, 2022 in Montreal, Quebec.

Alfa Romeo: “Big difference” to 2023 budget after beating Aston Martin to P6

The Swiss team went into the final race in Abu Dhabi five points ahead of the Silverstone team, both teams wanting to finish sixth in the constructors' championship

Latest Episode | Cut To The Race Podcast

Alfa Romeo boss Fred Vasseur believes that the prize money earned for sixth place in the Formula 1 constructors’ championship will make a “big difference” for the Swiss team.

F1 Grand Prix of Abu DhabiABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - NOVEMBER 20: Zhou Guanyu of China driving the (24) Alfa Romeo F1 C42 Ferrari on track during the F1 Grand Prix of Abu Dhabi at Yas Marina Circuit on November 20, 2022 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.
Zhou Guanyu defended hard against Aston Martin duo Sebastian Vettel and Lance Stroll (Image Credit: Rudy Carezzevoli/Getty Images)

The Hinwil outfit secured sixth place in the constructors’ standings. The Swiss team finished equal on points with Aston Martin – the Silverstone team scored five points in Abu Dhabi.

However, the Sauber group clinched onto their sixth place, despite a lacklustre second half to the season. Valtteri Bottas’ excellent fifth place finish in Imola meant that Alfa Romeo had a better result than Aston Martin. The Silverstone team’s best finish was Sebastian Vettel’s sixth place finish in Baku.

Each position of the constructors’ champion is believed to have an estimated $10-12m of extra prize money. Every bit of prize money could help a team, allowing them to utilise the full cost cap limit.

Morale is high at Alfa Romeo

The Swiss team were ecstatic after the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. The team managed to clinch sixth place, mainly scoring all of the points in the first half of the season.

F1 Grand Prix of Emilia RomagnaIMOLA, ITALY - APRIL 24: Valterri Bottas of Alfa Romeo and Finland during the F1 Grand Prix of Emilia Romagna at Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari on April 24, 2022 in Imola, Italy.
Valtteri Bottas’ fifth place in Imola proved vital in Alfa Romeo’s championship (Image Credit: Peter J Fox/Getty Images)

Alfa Romeo boss Fred Vasseur said it was “the best way” to have a “good winter” as “everyone will be in a positive mood” when speaking to Motorsport.com.

“On top of this it’s always crucial I think to have this kind of fight for us with Aston Martin – in terms of target it’s a good one. And for sure it will be also very helpful on the financial side.

“As we are below the cost cap, every single push will be a big difference. We will see next year, but for sure it will help.

“I know that some teams said that with $2m you can do nothing, but with $10m we will be able to do a lot!”

Vasseur praises the strategy in Abu Dhabi

The Frenchman believed that the team did a great job on strategy in Abu Dhabi. Alfa Romeo duo Valtteri Bottas and Zhou Guanyu were tasked with holding both of the Aston Martins up as much as possible.

Their strategy was just about good enough. Lance Stroll ended the race in eighth, as Sebastian Vettel ended his final Formula 1 race in 10th. The German was close to overtaking Daniel Ricciardo for ninth, which would have secured Aston Martin sixth. However, the four-time world champion ran out of time.

Vasseur said that the qualifying result was a big factor in the Swiss team’s strategy choice:

“If we had a better quali I think we’d have a fight on our own to score points.”

F1 Grand Prix of Abu Dhabi - QualifyingABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - NOVEMBER 19: Sebastian Vettel of Germany, Team Aston Martin AMR22 Aramco-Mercedes during qualifying ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Abu Dhabi at Yas Marina Circuit on November 19, 2022 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.
Aston Martin came close to snatching sixth away from Aston Martin (Image Credit: Heuler Andrey/Eurasia Sport Images/Getty Images)

However, Bottas was knocked out in Q1, qualifying 18th and Zhou qualified in 15th. Their rivals Aston Martin had Stroll in 14th and Vettel in the points in ninth.

“But with the quali we had we had no other option but to try to control a little bit the situation with the strategy, and we did it well.

“They both played a lot the team side, and they did a great job on managing the situation with Vettel and Stroll. And for sure we can thank them at the end when we see that Vettel is fighting with Ricciardo.”

Hamilton retirement caused nervousness within the team

Lewis Hamilton retired late from the race with a hydraulic problem – the first Mercedes retirement of the season. The retirement helped Aston Martin thoroughly as Vettel only needed to overtake Ricciardo to claim sixth in the championship.

F1 Grand Prix of Abu Dhabi - PracticeABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - NOVEMBER 18: Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team W13 during practice ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Abu Dhabi at Yas Marina Circuit on November 18, 2022 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.
Lewis Hamilton retired from the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix on lap 55 with a hydraulic problem (Image Credit: Heuler Andrey/Eurasia Sport Images/Getty Images)

However, the Australian held on, making Vasseur his biggest fan:

“It was more than tight! I was quite relaxed on the pit wall until the issue for Lewis. And they both improved by one position, and it became a bit more tricky.

“And the last couple of laps, I was the biggest fan of Daniel! For sure if Vettel was able to overtake Daniel it would have been another story.”

Feature Image Credit: Peter J Fox via Getty Images

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

Zeen is a next generation WordPress theme. It’s powerful, beautifully designed and comes with everything you need to engage your visitors and increase conversions.

Back to the top