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F1: Alfa Romeo is betting on a new pair of drivers, but the reliability of the C42 is already an unknown factor


After a disastrous 2021 to say the least, which ended in penultimate place in the constructors’ standings ahead of Haas alone, we basically start from scratch at Alfa Romeo for the 2022 Formula One World Championship . In addition to a new technical project, following the regulatory revolution that comes into force this year, the Swiss team has in fact also completely changed the driver line-up.

Kimi Raikkonen (retired) and Antonio Giovinazzi (landed in Formula E after the failure to reconfirm) were replaced by Valtteri Bottas and rookie Guanyu Zhou . The Finnish former Mercedes is now an expert driver and is preparing to get back into the game after five seasons in the shadow of Lewis Hamilton with a new challenge in the role of leader within a team, however, certainly less structured and ambitious than the Stuttgart manufacturer. .

For the second driver position, team principal Frederic Vasseur opted for a bet (from a purely sporting point of view) like Zhou, a choice mainly dictated by economic and commercial factors linked to the passport and the rich sponsors of the 22-year-old Chinese. The first year in Formula One promises to be very complex for Guanyu, third classified in the last F2 championship, who still has a fair talent to be able to earn a stay in the circus on the field for the next few years.

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The minimum objective of the team based in Hinwil is to improve the ninth place of the last Constructors’ Championship , even if the pre-season tests in this sense have not provided definitive answers. In Barcelona the C42 had a lot of technical problems and was one of the cars that ran the least (818 km total, ahead of the Haas alone), while in Bahrain the drivers managed to cover 1856 km (fourth most active team in the three- days of Sakhir behind Mercedes, AlphaTauri and Ferrari).

The strength of the C42 seems to be represented by the Ferrari power-unit, which has now filled the gap with Mercedes and Honda, but the overall package of the car did not completely convince in terms of performance during the pre-season tests . Reliability is still a topic on the agenda for Alfa Romeo, with Bottas setting the first goal of seeing the checkered flag on Sunday in the first GP of the championship.