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Williams confident of reeling in Alfa Romeo despite Ferrari PU gains

Williams confident of reeling in Alfa Romeo despite Ferrari PU gains

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Williams confident of reeling in Alfa Romeo despite Ferrari PU gains

Williams confident of reeling in Alfa Romeo despite Ferrari PU gains

Williams is confident it can make inroads on Alfa Romeo this season and catch up to the back of the midfield despite Ferrari's clear gains with its power unit.

Following what was often an evenly matched battle between the two teams last year, Alfa Romeo has taken a step forward this season thanks to the improvements made by engine partner Ferrari.

That was evidenced by the fact Kimi Raikkonen and Antonio Giovinazzi finished 11th and 12th respectively in the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix after qualifying 14th and 12th.

In contrast, Williams duo George Russell and Nicholas Latifi trailed home 14th and 18th and last of those classified after the Canadian retired five laps from the finish with a turbocharger issue.

Despite the fact a gap has seemingly opened up between Williams and Alfa Romeo, head of vehicle performance Dave Robson is convinced the team is "not that far away" from the midfield group.

"We’re further [away] than we would like, of course, but it would be nice to regularly get into that group," said Robson.

"To be fair to Alfa, they have taken a good step. To be honest, going into qualifying, I thought they would be further up.

"They have clearly done a very good job but if we can get closer to them over the next couple of weeks hopefully we can get into that midfield. It is very close."

Assessing the potential gains made by Alfa Romeo due to the power unit, Robson added: "It’s hard to say.

"The works team has actually taken a really quite impressive step. I’m sure some of it is a good step up in the power unit.

"It’s not so obvious at Haas [which also use the Ferrari PU] but they’ve got new drivers and there’s a bit more going on there.

"It’s a bit too early to say. I’m quite sure the Ferrari will have stepped up from what it was last year, but it’s hard to tell.

"If it has gone up, Alfa has still got choices on how they choose a rear wing to trade that power for downforce. At the moment it’s still a little bit difficult to split out our estimation of power and drag for them."

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