Aston Martin is facing an attack from former backmarkers Alfa Romeo after the Italian team’s head of trackside engineering Xevi Pujolar claimed it now has its struggling rivals in range.
Aston Martin competed as Racing Point last season and won the penultimate race of the year with Sergo Perez but has taken a dive in form thanks to new regulations that have stripped its car of the pace it once had.
Despite the arrival of four-time champion Sebastian Vettel alongside team owner’s son Lance Stroll, Aston Martin has been left fighting for scraps while Ferrari-powered Alfa has taken strides forward into the midfield.
With Kimi Raikkonen splitting the two Aston Martins at the Spanish Grand Prix in 12th place, Pujolar said: “I think we will try to beat them. They are at that range at the moment that we can fight them.
“After the last race, I said already that when you have a race where the situation with the tyres is not clear that opens opportunities.
“I think with the two Alpines, they clearly had a faster car but then they were losing a lot to us at the end of the race, and even with the AlphaTauri we were able to fight.
“Kimi had [Pierre] Gasly behind at one point, then Gasly overtook him because we were in the middle of traffic. If Kimi had a bit of free air in front I think we would have kept Gasly behind as well.
“So we are able to fight, we still need a bit more pace to get into the top 10, but I think it’s possible. But even the Williams had decent pace, so we need to be careful as well because everyone is there.”
Many teams are already switching focus to their 2022 cars due to a dramatic change in regulations for next season but while Pujolar refused to reveal when Alfa Romeo will stop its 2021 development he did confirm there is more to come.
“We are pushing for some upgrades and we’ll have some new parts in the next few races," he added.
"So definitely we are willing to close the gap, we are willing to fight with these teams as well that are ahead to see if we can reach the top 10.”
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