Alfa Romeo Wrongly Abandoned 2021 Car Development
MDP Live - Alfa Romeo principal Frederic Vasseur admits he was wrong to ignore the development of the 2021 car, due to his full focus on building the 2022 Formula 1 land jet.
Alfa Romeo was one of the teams that froze the development of the car, and focused all resources on preparing its vehicles for the 2022 season.
Hoping the work done over the past year pays off this season, Vasseur admits there are some downsides to not developing the 2021 car.
This made it difficult for Alfa Romeo to fight with mid-table teams and unable to compete with Williams, who had always finished last in the previous few years.
“We are taking the first step for 2022, at the end of 2020. Maybe I underestimate the fact that we have 22 races with the same car,” Vasseur told Motorsport.com.
"On the psychological side, it's not easy. When you have a new rule or something, you always have some sort of, not motivation, because we have it, but the hope that we will bring an update. That is not the main problem.”
Alfa Romeo ended last season in ninth position, behind Williams who won the Belgian Grand Prix podium.
However, Frederic Vasseur said that the difficulty his team was experiencing was not only about performance, but there were many factors that made them lose to Williams.
“The pure performance of our car is not bad. I think we have improved compared to last year," he said.
"Looking at the average in qualifying, we are faster than Williams, our main rival. In the race, we were faster than Williams. We finished something like 14 times ahead of Williams in the race.
“But then, if you look at the classification, and these are the main KPIs, we missed two good chances this season, in Budapest and Spa.
"I think at Spa, we didn't do a good job in qualifying, and that way, we didn't score points.
“In Budapest, it's a little more frustrating. We did a very good qualifier, maybe from a team perspective one of the best, like on the sixth grid or something like this, and we were involved in an accident at Turn 1.
"Maybe it's better for Williams who started 17th and 18th in qualifying. But that's how it is."
Despite the difficult moments throughout 2021, Vasseur insists what is sacrificed is worth it or not once the new season starts.
"We have made a decision," he said.
“Do we have the interest to invest heavily, not just money, but time, resources and so on, in 2021?
“And what can be expected, to move from P9 to P8? Or do we put all our resources in 2022 and then let's see, because I think the potential is much wider.
"Alright, now that it's over, we took the bet one year ago, and we'll see in the next few months!"