Alfa Romeo team boss Frederic Vasseur says the Swiss outfit is in an uptrend, with ambitions that should allow it to attract a top name for 2022.
Last month, the Hinwil squad announced that it had extended its partnership with Alfa Romeo for a multi-year period, although the new deal will include ‘yearly assessments’.
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Vasseur isn’t dismissing the possibility of fully refreshing Alfa’s driver line-up for next season, with Kimi Raikkonen expected to call it a day on his career in Formula 1 while Ferrari protégé Antonio Giovinazzi isn’t guaranteed a fourth year with the team.
Among the pair’s potential successors is Valtteri Bottas, whose management has reportedly touched base with Alfa as it mulls a back-up option if the Finn isn’t retained by Mercedes.
And Vasseur believes his team is now worthy of attracting a big name and a bona fide Grand Prix winner.
Read also: Alfa still convinced early switch to 2022 car ‘the right decision’
“I think we are in a good position because we are ambitious,” Vasseur told Motorsport.com. “We are going up in terms of partners, sponsors and so on. The portfolio is going up.
“The partnership with Alfa is solid and a long-term partnership. Ferrari is doing a good job, they are improving also on their side… and we are improving on the chassis.
“I have tons of green lights, and I want to be very positive. Now I have to do my job to be able to convince them.”
However, while Vasseur is determined to promote Alfa’s strong potential, the Frenchman has no intention of making promises that he won’t be able to keep.
“If you have a common project and you’re very clear with them, then [you] say ‘guys, I don’t want to bullshit you, we won’t be able to win in 2022, even in 2023, but at least we want to make two or three positions a year and we want to improve’,” he said.
“This message got through with Kimi. When Kimi joined in ’19, he won two races before with Ferrari, he won in Austin, and then he joined over, and at this stage we were in the tough situation. 2017 was very tough. I think he understood the challenge and the project.
“You have to be very clear with them and to be transparent: ‘OK, guys we won’t be able to win, but the target if we are P8 is to be P6 and then to be P4’. [It’s better] than to say ‘OK, don’t worry, we’ll win next year’. Doing this you will create the frustration.”
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