Alfa Romeo left Bahrain in a positive mood. The race saw them leave Williams behind and join the ultra-competitive Formula 1 midfield. Kimi Raikkonen just missed out on points after finishing P11, ahead of an Aston Martin and both Alpine cars.
After the race, team boss Frederic Vasseur proclaimed the team had made a forward step, and were part of the midfield now:
"Bahrain gave us a strong indication of the progress we have made in the last 12 months. We raced with authority, leaving the Alpines and an Aston Martin behind us and finishing on the tail of the other Aston."
Vasseur said that regardless of the lack of points taken over the weekend, the team was now ready to race in the midfield:
"Even though we left Bahrain with no points, we did so having reclaimed our place in the midst of the midfield – and results will surely come soon. We demonstrated our ability to be able to fight in and around the top ten and we can look with optimism to the rest of the season."
Alfa Romeo's results show clear progress from last season
Alfa Romeo were comfortably able to reach Q2 in qualifying at the Bahrain Grand Prix. They also demonstrated competitive pace throughout the race.
With an improved Ferrari engine and a visibly different front-end on the car, Alfa Romeo have made significant gains since last year. Italian driver Antonio Giovinazzi echoed the thoughts of his team boss as he felt there was a notable improvement in the car from last year.
"I think at Bahrain we did the maximum that we could. AlphaTauri is still too fast for us, but we need to be happy because compared to last year we improved a lot. We are much closer to Alpine, to Aston Martin. So yeah, I think we can have more fun this season."
The team has undoubtedly made a forward step in car performance for the 2021 Formula 1 season. However, the driver lineup of Kimi Raikkonen and Antonio Giovinazzi doesn't inspire confidence. In the most competitive midfield in years, their drivers could be the difference between finishing in the points or P11. Does Alfa Romeo need to look at younger, more competitive drivers for next season? Only time will tell.