Alfa’s Xevi Pujolar stays positive: “We are faster” than rivals & “continuously working” on upgrades

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Picture Credits Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake

Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake’s Head of Trackside Engineering, Xevi Pujolar, spoke to media during the weekend of this season’s British Grand Prix. Unsurprisingly, his comments reflected the team’s disappointment after another ‘pointless’ weekend. However, because they are also only two points from P7 in the F1 Constructors’ Championship, Pujolar’s remarks also evoked a sense of an awareness that the package is better than it is showing, and the season is a long one.


Even before race day, Valtteri Bottas was having a British Grand Prix weekend to forget after breaking down in Q1 and then as a result of having no fuel to provide a sample to the FIA – being excluded from qualifying and thus having to start from P20. Bottas showed the pace Alfa Romeo had by coming back to finish P12 in the Grand Prix, but all this meant a lack of points yet again. Xevi Pujolar explained to media that the mystery of Bottas’ situation is ongoing as he said: “We’re discussing internally because both cars had the same plan, same program and they were sent on the same condition but obviously one of the cars didn’t have enough [fuel].


Elsewhere, Bottas’ teammate, Zhou Guanyu, was also encountering a race to forget. Having had such a dramatic crash end his 2022 British Grand Prix, it was a very different kind of drama which halted any chance of success for Zhou Guanyu this time round. The Chinese racer found his Grand Prix compromised by a tear-off becoming stuck in his brake duct – which inevitably required an unplanned additional pit stop and removed any hope of points.


These incidents were even more damaging to Alfa Romeo as they clearly have a quick car.

After all, the 2022 F1 season saw Alfa Romeo finish sixth in the F1 Constructors’ Championship. However, the team currently in that position is Alpine on 47 points. Meanwhile, after a second week in a row of Grand Prix action failing to bring the team any points, Alfa Romeo have now dropped down to a position in the F1 Constructors’ Championship which is the same as their tally of points so far – P9. All this is a far cry from the 51 points recorded at the same time the previous season.

Valtteri Bottas told media in Silverstone “It seems like they’ve made a big step, and for us at the moment they are out of reach,” in reference to Williams overtaking them in the standings. Whereas Xevi Pujolar is confident that his team will move up the standings due to the closeness of the table and there being only a two-point difference between P9 and P7 – with Haas and Williams the two teams in his sights.


“Our direct competitors brought upgrades, and comparing with AlphaTauri, Haas, we can be fighting with them, we are faster than them,” Pujolar stated. “I think the only difficulty is with Williams at the moment. That they were performing very strong, they were fighting with Ferrari and even Aston Martin. They seem to be quite strong the last couple of races, we have to see if that continues like this.”


Unsurprisingly, as with every season of Formula One, upgrades are key. Pujolar gave Alfa Romeo fans reason to be cheerful as he indicated to media in Silverstone what is on the way: “Some mechanical changes, some aero changes, continuously working in all areas.”


Next up is the Hungarian Grand Prix, a race which in 2022 found Alfa Romeo sitting comfortably in the top ten for much of the race – before finishing pointless. The team will be hoping for better luck this time round with all eyes them as they attempt to overtake Haas and Williams – ahead of the summer break. This will be no easy task but is another reason why in a season dominated by Red Bull Racing, the closeness of the midfield battle ensures this weekend’s Hungarian Grand Prix is a must watch event.