Vasseur: Alfa Romeo regains its place in F1 midfield

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The team had a poor 2020 season, scoring just eight points on their way to eighth in the Constructors’ Championship, with their best result at the Emilia-Romagna GP, where Kimi Raikkonen was ninth.

But, during pre-season testing, Alfa emerged as one of the surprises with its C41 car, which hinted that it was a step up from last year’s machine.

His potential was confirmed last weekend, when Raikkonen and his teammate Antonio Giovinazzi finished 11th and 12th, just outside the points.

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Sakhir’s race left Vasseur convinced that good results are only a matter of time.

“Tonight has given us a strong indication of the progress we have made over the past 12 months,” said Vasseur after the race.

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“We raced with authority, leaving the Alpines and one Aston Martin behind and ending up on the tail of the other Aston.

“Even if we leave Bahrain without points, we do so after regaining our place in midfield – and the results will surely come soon. We have shown that we are able to fight in and around the top ten and we can look hopefully at the rest of the season.

“It was an eventful race, although the low attrition rate – just two dropouts – meant we had our work cut out for us when we were aiming for a place in the points.

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“We’re taking a lot of positives, however, knowing that we can go to the next race in Imola in two weeks, ready to fight for a top 10 spot again.”

Antonio Giovinazzi, Alfa Romeo Racing C41

Photo by: Charles Coates / Motorsport Images

Giovinazzi said his 12th place was the best he could have hoped for in Bahrain, but was also encouraged by the progress Alfa has made.

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“I think today what we did was as much as we could,” said the Italian. “AlphaTauri is still too fast for us, but we have to be happy because compared to last year we have improved a lot.

“We’re a lot closer to Alpine, to Aston Martin. So yeah, I think we can have more fun today.”

Although Giovinazzi lost time in the pits, he felt that a points finish was still out of the question.

“I think without that mistake maybe it was good to be ahead of Kimi, but not in the top 10,” he said.