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Alfa Romeo’s Battle Against the Midfield: A Season-Long Fight



Alfa Romeo Battle Against the Midfield A Season-Long Fight F1 2023

Alfa Romeo uses unconventional tactics to secure points in Bahrain, showcases impressive speed. Can they continue to compete in midfield?

Similar to how it ended the 2022 Formula 1 season, Alfa Romeo began the 2023 season by utilizing unconventional and potentially sneaky methods to prevent a rival from scoring all available points.

However, their strategy during the Bahrain Grand Prix was not solely focused on spoiler tactics, as it also showcased impressive speed and earned them four points through legitimate means.

Although Alfa Romeo had a promising start last year, their late-season performance was hindered by issues with reliability and a decrease in pace, resulting in a shortage of points.

Nevertheless, the team managed to secure sixth place in the constructors’ championship by relying on a tiebreaker to fend off competition from Aston Martin.

During the Abu Dhabi finale, Alfa Romeo implemented a deliberate strategy to impede the performance of Aston Martin by engaging in maximum “interaction” with their cars.

Xevi Pujolar, the head of track engineering, stated that the team’s primary objective was not necessarily to earn points, but rather to prioritize slowing down their rivals by forcing them to lose time behind Alfa Romeo’s cars.

Alfa Romeo s Battle Against the Midfield A Season-Long Fight f1 2023

To achieve their goal of obstructing the Aston Martin team during the Abu Dhabi finale, Alfa Romeo formulated a strategy that involved strategically placing their drivers, Bottas and Zhou, ahead of Vettel and Stroll as frequently as feasible.

The length of their stints and overall race strategy were all geared towards this objective, regardless of the outcome for Alfa Romeo’s own placement in the race. Although Stroll managed to secure eighth place, Vettel was unable to overtake Daniel Ricciardo for ninth due to earlier obstructions caused by Alfa Romeo. As a result, the team accomplished their mission.

During the recent race in Bahrain, Alfa Romeo did not need to employ any obstructive tactics as they accomplished their goals by utilizing their speed at the appropriate times.

The team identified McLaren and Alpine as their main competitors for the 2023 season. McLaren, however, faced issues with reliability that hindered their performance.

Additionally, one of the Alpines was eliminated from contention due to a series of near-comedic penalties incurred by Esteban Ocon.

Despite the competition from Pierre Gasly’s Alpine, which had started the race from last on the grid, Alfa Romeo’s Valtteri Bottas was able to hold him off and secure eighth place.

However, Gasly’s performance on fresh soft tires after a late final pitstop during the virtual safety car for Charles Leclerc’s retirement was impressive, and he was able to set the fastest lap of the race. His time of 1m35.068s was a full second quicker than anyone else had managed throughout the race.

Alfa Romeo made the decision that it was crucial to prevent Gasly from holding onto the fastest lap, and as a result, they brought in their driver Zhou Guanyu, who had fallen to 13th place due to a poor start and being caught off guard by others pitting under the virtual safety car.


Zhou was called in with just three laps remaining in the race.

Despite the fact that Alfa Romeo only had soft tires left to give Zhou Guanyu, the track had become increasingly rubbered-in by that point in the race, and his car was also carrying a very light fuel load. As a result, he was able to set an incredibly fast lap time of 1m33.996s, which shattered Gasly’s previous record.

Although Zhou Guanyu was only able to finish in 16th place and did not earn the fastest lap bonus point for himself, his record-breaking lap time prevented Pierre Gasly and Alpine from claiming it instead.

Alfa Romeo s Battle Against the Midfield A Season-Long Fight f1 2023 a

According to Xevi Pujolar, he believed that Zhou Guanyu did an excellent job in achieving the fastest lap time, which ultimately prevented Alfa Romeo’s competitor, Alpine, from gaining an extra point. Pujolar acknowledged the importance of securing every possible advantage against their rivals in the current season.

Although Alfa Romeo’s recent tactics may not be considered as outright dark or nefarious, they are undoubtedly calculated and strategic in nature.

Most other teams in the pitlane would likely employ similar methods to secure any advantage possible, but Alfa Romeo’s openness and effectiveness in doing so has distinguished them from their competitors.

While these tactics may not be particularly aesthetically pleasing, they are essential in a midfield that is as competitive and closely-fought as the current one. As such, Alfa Romeo’s approach is both admirable and necessary.


Thanks to Valtteri Bottas’s impressive performance, which saw him convert a 12th place starting position into an eighth-place finish, Alfa Romeo was able to earn four points and climb to fifth place in the constructors’ standings after the race in Sakhir.

Bottas had a strong start and made strategic pit stops that enabled him to overtake both Aston Martins and even leapfrog Fernando Alonso during the initial pit sequence.

Although he was unable to maintain that pace, it appears that Aston Martin may struggle to keep up with Alfa Romeo this season.

Nevertheless, finishing in fifth place behind the traditional “big three” teams and their new competitor would be a significant accomplishment for Alfa Romeo over the course of the entire season.

Alfa Romeo s Battle Against the Midfield A Season-Long Fight f1 2023

Valtteri Bottas expressed his contentment with the team’s performance, stating that they had likely achieved the maximum possible result given the speed of the cars ahead of them.

However, following their struggles in the previous season, Alfa Romeo must now demonstrate that they can progress throughout the entire season rather than fall behind.

Xevi Pujolar, however, is confident that the team can improve and move forward over the course of the season.


According to Xevi Pujolar, the Alfa Romeo car performed exceptionally well during testing, providing the team with a solid foundation to build upon. The team also has some upcoming developments in the works that will hopefully aid their performance further.

Pujolar emphasized that the team’s objective is to continue to compete at the top of the midfield and that they believe they have the ability to achieve this goal.

Alfa Romeo’s Battle Against the Midfield: A Season-Long Fight F1 2023 Bahrain Alfa Romeo’s Battle Against the Midfield: A Season-Long Fight F1 2023 Bahrain Alfa Romeo’s Battle Against the Midfield: A Season-Long Fight F1 2023 Bahrain Alfa Romeo’s Battle Against the Midfield: A Season-Long Fight F1 2023 Bahrain