Vasseur rues Alfa's 'missed opportunities' despite good performance

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Alfa Romeo team boss Frédéric Vasseur says the Hinwil squad's 2021 season was a story of good performance but too many missed opportunities.

Alfa concluded its 2021 campaign ninth in the Constructors' standings, or one spot lower than the year before.

And yet the Swiss outfit's C41 - which, like all teams, was basically its 2020 chassis updated to last season's slightly modified aero specifications – had taken a significant step forward last year in terms of sheer performance according to Vasseur.

But the Frenchman says its car's gains were undermined by Alfa's inability to make the most of the opportunities that came the way of its drivers, Kimi Raikkonen and Antonio Giovinazzi.

"In terms of pure performance, we did pretty well," Vasseur said, quoted by

"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.

"It's a strange feeling, because at the end, your only KPI (key performance indicator) that makes sense is the points. It doesn't matter to be faster if you're not scoring points."

Vasseur says that Alfa especially lost out over the summer, just as its lower-tier midfield rival Williams scored big in Hungary and in Belgium, where George Russell's remarkable P2 performance in qualifying yielded a bag of nine points following the race's cancellation.

But Vasseur argues that his team's shortfall in qualifying was often related to very small margins relative to its rivals.

"During the season, it was really up and down," he said.

"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.

"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."

Like its rivals, Alfa Romeo Racing starts afresh this year with a contender designed to F1's brand-new regulations and with an all-new line-up of drivers that pairs the experienced Valtteri Bottas with Chinese rookie Guanyu Zhou.

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