As we witnessed during the Miami Grand Prix, the Mercedes of Lewis Hamilton had been underperforming, with wrong pit strategies making it worse, and even during qualifying, the cars had failed to perform. In this chaos, Valtteri Bottas, Hamilton’s ex-teammate in the Mercedes, almost outperformed the Mercedes in his Alfa Romeo.
Until last year, when Alfa Romeo had Kimi Raikonnen and Antonio Giovinazzi, they underperformed and managed to score only 13 points during the entire season.
This year, former Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas and the rookie Zhou Guanyu form the Alfa Romeo team, and together, they have managed to score 31 points already. This surely means that the cars are much more competitive after the change of regulations for this year. Upon this, trackside engineer of Alfa Romeo, Xevi Pujolar said that the main rivals for the team during the Miami GP were Alpine, AlphaTauri, and McLaren.
Watch: Why Valtteri Bottas now has what Mercedes wouldn’t give him in F1
But as we saw in the race, the Alfa Romeo of Valtteri Bottas was able to put up good competition for the Mercedes of Lewis Hamilton. He was faster in qualifying, making 5th on the grid, ahead of Hamilton, and even during the race, if it wasn’t for one corner mistake, he could’ve finished above Hamilton.
This certainly puts Mercedes in question and confirms that Alfa Romeo are good enough to be battling Mercedes now, as well, and become an outperforming team than they were last year.
Challenging Mercedes is Alfa Romeo’s aim.
Pujolar explained that they are developing the car and finishing third fastest and challenging Mercedes is their aim, and they would work towards it.
“For sure, now everyone will bring updates and I can say we are in a more comfortable position because we have got some advantage to them. Now it will be who brings the more efficient or bigger updates.
“At one point, probably it will be difficult. You can expect that teams like Mercedes and McLaren will do bigger steps. We have to see,” said Pujolar, stated by GPFans.
After the Miami Grand Prix, Alfa Romeo stand 5th in the constructors’ championship with 31 points, making it a huge success, followed up by Alpine with 26 points.
Valtteri Bottas stands 8th with 30 points, and his teammate Zhou Guanyu 18th with 1 point.