Kimi Raikkonen and Antonio Giovinazzi paired up for their third year together at the team in 2021, but the experienced Finn and the young Italian could only manage to score 23 points in total for the Hinwil squad, 10 less than direct rivals Williams.
Team Principal Frederic Vasseur has assessed his team’s season, mentioning how they did “pretty well” in terms of pace, but missed out on their chances to capitalise on the good pace of the Alfa Romeo C41 challenger:
"In terms of pure performance, we did pretty well. We had a huge step compared to last year, probably the best one in terms of pure performance compared to pole position.
"But on the other hand, we missed the good opportunities of the year. In Budapest, we were involved in the crash, and in Spa.
"We had some missed opportunities on our side. In Bahrain I think, we had the issue during the pit stop, or at Imola when Kimi spun on the formation lap, that cost us - [it's] two points there, four points there.”
30“ penalty for Kimi 😞— Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN (@alfaromeoracing) April 18, 2021
That hurts and it nullifies all the good work we’ve done this weekend. #ImolaGP
Vasseur mentioned how it is tough for the team to come up short in points when the pace for it was there, stating how good pace is irrelevant if they are not in the top 10 come the chequered flag:
"It's a strange feeling, because at the end, your only KPI that makes sense is the points. It doesn't matter to be faster if you're not scoring points."
"During the season, it was really up and down."
"We had probably a good start, until Monaco or something like this. And then we had a tough period in the summer - perhaps that we were on vacation, I don't know! And then it came back in the last part of the year.”
According to him, an important point of consideration when analysing the year is to look at the bigger picture and not just the raw results, as those can be misleading given how close and bunched up the F1 field is nowadays:
"Again, it's very difficult to analyse because if you have a look on the classification, OK, it's clear.
"But if you look on pure performance, it's sometimes a matter of one-tenth completely changing the picture. [In Saudi Arabia] we reached Q3, but we were one tenth to go in Q1 and be out in Q1. When you are trying to have a look on the season, we have to be careful on this.”
"Overall if I have to rate this season, I would say good on performance and bad on results," he concluded.
Alfa Romeo will be looking for a better 2022 season, with renewed faces behind the wheel of the C42, in the form of Valtteri Bottas, fresh from a 5-year stint with the reigning world champions, and an exciting young Chinese talent in Guanyu Zhou, and a big regulation shake-up, the ingredients are there for a better year for Swiss squad.
The countdown begins ⏳ pic.twitter.com/a5T8flSmro— Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN (@alfaromeoracing) January 7, 2022