Alfa Romeo technical director Jan Monchaux admits that there are issues with the team’s lightweight design of their 2022 car, but insists that it is better to encounter those now than after the season gets underway.
Formula 1’s technical regulations have changed drastically ahead of the new season as a ground effect-led aerodynamic concept comes into play, as the sport seeks to create a more aesthetically pleasing racing spectacle.
As part of this initiative, the tyres have increased in size to 18 inches, and a sustainability-driven push has resulted in a new fuel blend made up of 10 percent ethanol.
The majority of the teams has found themselves struggling with weight issues, and Alfa Romeo were reported to be the only team that managed to get below the 195kg weight limit set by the FIA.
As a result, the governing body are said to have approved two increases in weight, which would now set the weight limit at 203kg if there is validity to these reports.
Valtteri Bottas and Guanyu Zhou put 120 laps on the board between them on day one of pre-season testing in Bahrain, and Monchaux appears confident that the Swiss team can maintain their reputable reliability.
“I don’t have a crystal ball but normally we are pretty good in terms of reliability,” he told Dutch publication Formule 1.
“We have some issues to fix but I’m pretty sure we’ll fix them.”
He conceded that one or two issues have crept in, but these have not really been any more substantial than anyone else on the grid, and the French-German engineer maintains that accosting those difficulties now is better than having to tackle them later.
“As for the mechanical issues, I’d rather we have them now than during the season,” he added.
Bottas and Zhou form an all-new driver pairing for the Swiss team this season following the departure of Kimi Raikkonen and Antonio Giovinazzi.