Alfa Romeo believes its Barcelona upgrade package will move its performance level up another notch, with more developments to come for the Swiss outfit.
In the wake of the introduction of F1's new regulations, Alfa has succeeded in extricating itself from the lower tier of the field, with the team scoring more points in the first five races of 2022 that in its last two seasons put together, courtesy of new recruit Valtteri Bottas.
Although the Hinwil squad brought a modified sidepod and floor package to Imola, new parts have been prepared for this week's round of racing at the Circuit de Catalunya.
"The package is working," said Alfa Romeo head of trackside engineer Xevi Pujolar in Miami, quoted by The Race.
"It’s a track where we have quite a high content of low-speed corners and on that we knew that we are reasonably OK, but the conditions are quite extreme with the temperature so it has been quite difficult for everyone.
"In terms of track efficiency and the downforce level it was the first time that we got to such a high level. People tried to find the tradeoff between top speed and downforce in the low-speed corners and that was OK.
"Now we can be reasonably confident [in the Spain upgrade] that it’s developing the same kind of philosophy and should be a good step for Barcelona.
"And there’s more coming, so it’s good at the moment."
In Miami, Bottas who qualified fifth was running ahead of both Mercedes cars in the closing stages of the race until a brush with the wall following a moment of distraction allowed the Silver Arrows to leap from the Finn.
Pujolar believes that on specific tracks, Alfa can hold its own against Mercedes, but its main objective overall this season remains to beat its top midfield contenders, namely McLaren, Alpine and AlphaTauri.
"For us, coming to [Miami] we were mainly focusing on McLaren, Alpine and AlphaTauri," said the Spaniard.
"But obviously, if we don't expose ourselves to those three competitors then Mercedes is our target, we are happy to fight Mercedes on top of that as well.
"For the championship, our realistic targets are Alpine, AlphaTauri and McLaren."
As for next weekend's targets, Pujolar said: "The same as the first five races, to be fighting with everyone.
"We've shown decent performance at all the tracks, and I think we'll be at the top of the midfield again, with both cars."