Alfa Romeo will head into next week's opening round of the F1 world championship "better prepared" than in 2020 following a strong pre-season test in Bahrain.
The Swiss outfit recorded 422 laps over three days, a new record for the team according to Alfa Romeo technical director Jan Monchaux and a tally that topped, along with AlphaTauri's exact same mileage, the list of the teams that completed the most laps at Sakhir.
The Hinwil squad capped off its preparations with a flawless and productive final session during which Kimi Raikkonen set the fourth fastest time overall onboard Alfa's C41.
"It was important to have a positive outcome as the conditions were probably the most representative of what we will experience during the race weekend," reported Monchaux.
"The results are encouraging but we’re not getting carried away: we know there is still a lot of work to do. This was just a friendly game: just a milestone on the long road that is the 2021 season.
"We feel ready to start the championship and we feel better prepared than last year," added the Swiss engineer.
"The car was reliable throughout the week and we improved on the weaknesses we had in 2020.
"Now we have ten days to study all the data we have gathered and find a bit more performance on both the single lap and over a race distance.
"Everyone will have raised their game by the time we’re back here in two weeks’ time and we’ll need to be ready."
Although satisfied with his final day of testing, Raikkonen played down his relative performance, insisting that there were simply too many unknowns to consider a semblance of a pecking order.
The Finn nevertheless believes that he has a faster in his hands compared to last season.
"We got all we came here for and now we just have to see where we are when we’re back here racing in two weeks," said the Iceman.
"Times in testing don’t mean anything and, right now, we don’t know how all the other teams are performing. But we know how our car does, and feeling wise, it is better than last year.
"I guess we are faster than at our best at the end of 2020, but whether that translate into a better performance in the races, that we will have to see."