Alfa Romeo working on soft tyre weakness in F1 qualifying

Alfa Romeo admits it still needs to work on soft tyre performance in Formula 1 qualifying, but is adamant its Monaco problems are gone after an improved showing in Baku.

Alfa Romeo working on soft tyre weakness in F1 qualifying

Following a strong Spanish Grand Prix, in which Alfa's car excelled in Barcelona's slow final sector, the Hinwil team headed to Monaco with high expectations.

But Monaco was close to a disaster as Valtteri Bottas had to sit out most of FP1 and he and Zhou Guanyu then qualified 12th and 20th respectively.

Bottas managed ninth after a chaotic rain race, but the team admitted it had gone in the wrong direction with the mechanical set-up of the car, and due to its lack of track time it found out too late to rectify the situation.

Baku was another track with a lot of low-speed corners than Alfa Romeo was hoping to rebound at, but it still underperformed in qualifying with Zhou 14th and Bottas 15h.

While Bottas suffered a mysterious loss of pace from Saturday onwards and Zhou fell victim to Fernando Alonso's Q1 antics, the Chinese driver's excellent race until he retired with cooling issues showed that the team did recoup its Barcelona form to some degree, even if the results don't show it.

Alfa Romeo's head of trackside engineering Xevi Pujolar explained the team's Monaco problems are solved and said its qualifying issues in Baku should be seen in a different light.

Alfa has been struggling to get Pirelli's softest compound, the C5, to switch on in qualifying, which has made it harder for Bottas and Zhou to extract the ultimate performance from the car and translate it into a representative grid result.

Valtteri Bottas, Alfa Romeo C42

Valtteri Bottas, Alfa Romeo C42

Photo by: Alfa Romeo

"In Monaco, we had some difficulties, but that was different," Pujolar explained.

"We changed the configuration of the car and if you see what the level of performance we have with Zhou - because with Valtteri we've had something different - then we can say that the problems from Monaco were gone."

Read Also:

When asked by Autosport to explain the team's C5 tyre issues, he said: "Here some competitors are able to extract more performance on the first timed lap and for us on the first timed lap we are struggling more."

"We are putting more on the second push lap. This is something that we were working on, and I think we are getting there in Q2 but then we've got to make more progress.

"I think for Montreal we don't see a reason why we shouldn't be on top of it. But the problems from Monaco, they are gone."

Hinwil is still investigating what Bottas called a "fundamental issue" which tanked his performance when he switched to Alfa Romeo's new configuration on Saturday, running with the old kit in Friday practice to save parts. The team will change as many parts as possible in Canada to eliminate the underlying issue.

shares
comments

Related video

Aston Martin no longer "pinned" by F1 set-up since Spain upgrade
Previous article

Aston Martin no longer "pinned" by F1 set-up since Spain upgrade

Next article

The pandemic legacy that could threaten a vital motor racing tenet

The pandemic legacy that could threaten a vital motor racing tenet
How studying Schumacher helped make Coulthard a McLaren F1 mainstay Plus

How studying Schumacher helped make Coulthard a McLaren F1 mainstay

Winner of 13 grands prix including Monaco and survivor of a life-changing plane crash, David Coulthard could be forgiven for having eased into a quiet retirement – but, as MARK GALLAGHER explains, in fact he’s busier than ever, running an award-winning media company and championing diversity in motor racing. Not bad for someone who, by his own admission, wasn’t quite the fastest driver of his generation…

Formula 1
Aug 7, 2022
Could F1 move to a future beyond carbonfibre? Plus

Could F1 move to a future beyond carbonfibre?

Formula 1 has ambitious goals for improving its carbon footprint, but could this include banishing its favoured composite material? PAT SYMONDS considers the alternatives to carbonfibre and what use, if any, those materials have in a Formula 1 setting

Formula 1
Aug 6, 2022
How Russell has proven he deserves to be Hamilton's Mercedes heir Plus

How Russell has proven he deserves to be Hamilton's Mercedes heir

He’s fast, he’s smart, and he’s already shown he’s not going to let Max Verstappen intimidate him. George Russell won’t say it, but LUKE SMITH says he’s ready to take the lead at Mercedes when Lewis Hamilton moves on to a quieter life. And – whisper it – Mercedes and Lewis are starting to think so too

Formula 1
Aug 5, 2022
The traits that fuelled Alonso's unexpected Aston Martin move Plus

The traits that fuelled Alonso's unexpected Aston Martin move

Fernando Alonso’s bombshell switch to Aston Martin sent shockwaves through Formula 1, not least at Alpine that finds itself tangled in a contract standoff with Oscar Piastri. Not shy of a bold career move and with a CV punctuated by them, there were numerous hints that trouble was brewing

Formula 1
Aug 4, 2022
The elements Ferrari must resolve to first save face, then win championships Plus

The elements Ferrari must resolve to first save face, then win championships

OPINION: Ferrari's Formula 1 title hopes look all but over after another strategic blunder in last week's Hungarian Grand Prix denied Charles Leclerc the chance to fight for victory, while handing it to chief rival Max Verstappen. The Scuderia now faces intense scrutiny over what it must now do to finally become a genuine factor in championship battles

Formula 1
Aug 3, 2022
The clues about Hamilton’s F1 retirement plans revealed after Vettel’s decision Plus

The clues about Hamilton’s F1 retirement plans revealed after Vettel’s decision

OPINION: Sebastian Vettel is set to leave Formula 1 at the end of 2022 and will, rather shockingly, be replaced by Fernando Alonso at Aston Martin. But what about the final chapter of the other driver that defined the post-Michael Schumacher era? In Hungary, Lewis Hamilton spoke about his future in the context of Vettel’s upcoming departure, which offered clues on how long it will last

Formula 1
Aug 2, 2022
Why all signs point to F1’s Monaco special relationship continuing Plus

Why all signs point to F1’s Monaco special relationship continuing

OPINION: With more potential venues than there are slots in future calendars, rumours have been circulating that the Monaco Grand Prix could be a casualty of F1’s expansion into new markets. But MARK GALLAGHER thinks this is highly unlikely

Formula 1
Aug 2, 2022
Hungarian Grand Prix Driver Ratings 2022 Plus

Hungarian Grand Prix Driver Ratings 2022

The Hungarian Grand Prix race result, after a dry race held without safety car conditions, bore little resemblance to what was anticipated after qualifying. While certain drivers were nullified by some iffy strategy calls, others shone to grasp opportunities afforded to them in the last F1 race before the summer break

Formula 1
Aug 1, 2022