Every midfield team 'pushing like hell' to reach McLaren
Alfa Romeo boss Frederic Vasseur says every team in the midfield battle is “pushing like hell” to compete with McLaren, who are currently the ‘best of the rest’ in fourth position in the championship.
With Mercedes, Ferrari, and Red Bull always going to pull away from the pack, the other teams have been battling hard to be seen as the best outfit outside of the top three, and so far in 2019 it has been McLaren, with Lando Norris and Carlos Sainz striking up an impressive partnership.
Alfa Romeo are one of the teams looking to match McLaren’s performance, and are working hard to do so according to their team principal, especially after their first double points finish of the campaign in Austria.
“I think we did a good step forward over the last two or three races,” Vasseur told Motorsport.com.
“We have to improve a little bit the pace to be able to fight with the McLarens, which will be the next target.
“If you look at the last few races they were ahead, but we have good updates in the pipeline. For sure we need to do a step forward to fight with them in the races.
“We have a package for Silverstone and some other updates for Germany and Hungary, but we have to be realistic, everybody is pushing like hell, and they will also bring something.”
Antonio Giovinazzi has taken a while to settle into his new team alongside Kimi Raikkone, but the team’s first double points finish came via his first individual points finish of the season. Before that, it was only the Italian and the uncompetitive cars of Williams yet to finish in the top 10, but Vasseur has backed his man to continue his improvement after the shaky start.
“Antonio is also able to score points now, so it’s good for the team,” he continued.
“He needs it, because the last few races he was very strong in qualy, he was matching Kimi. At the same time the races were a bit more difficult, so it was important for him to score points.
“At least he won’t have any more the question about when he will get the first points. The pace was there and he did a very strong race, and it was an important step in his own season.
“We had the two cars in sixth and seventh on the grid, and the target was to finish in the points.
“We understood before the race that it would be difficult to keep Sebastian [Vettel] behind, and even [Pierre] Gasly.
“We had the top six cars in front us, plus the two McLarens. I think it was more or less the best we could achieve. So let’s see the next one.”
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