Alfa Romeo team principal Frederic Vasseur admits his side needs to cut out the mistakes if it is to challenge for the top end of the midfield battle during the 2019 Formula 1 season.

The rebranded Swiss squad started the season strongly as Kimi Raikkonen scored points in the opening four rounds, but Alfa Romeo has failed to finish inside the top 10 since.

As a result, the team has slipped to ninth in the constructors’ championship on 13 points. Alfa Romeo is three points behind its nearest competitors Haas and 17 adrift of current midfield leaders McLaren, which occupies fourth spot.

“The last three races didn’t go to plan, but it would be too easy to put it down to bad luck or unfortunate circumstances,” Vasseur said.

“As a team we need to do fewer mistakes and we need to work harder, which we have done after coming back from Canada, to get the full potential out of our car.

“At the same time there is no reason to talk ourselves down, we’re showing fighting spirit and we’ll make the most of the developments we have lined up for the next few races.

“I am confident we can recover the speed we showed earlier in the season and get back in the fight for points.”

Antonio Giovinazzi has endured a difficult campaign so far but was awarded with the prestigious Bandini Trophy during the gap between Canada and France. The Italian says achieving such recognition has spurred him on to turnaround his form.

“Joining the champions who received the award is an honour but also a great responsibility,” Giovinazzi explained.

“It’s a big push to do better and demonstrate I deserve this recognition. I believe hard work is the only way to achieve great results and it’s not going to be different in Formula 1.

“I’m focussed on my goal, no matter how tough the way to get there is, and I want to make sure we get the rewards for our work, those rewards that have eluded us so far.

“I am not losing confidence, I know we can do it as a team. Only those who don’t fight have already lost, and we’re never going to give up.”

Teammate Kimi Raikkonen hopes some updates at Paul Ricard will help iron out “very strange” car behaviour he has felt in recent races.

“Recently we struggled with grip and therefore we didn’t have enough speed,” he conceded.

“Some corners were fine, while in others the car felt very strange.

“We’re getting some new parts on the car for France so this should help us to get back to the performance we had at the beginning of the season.”

 

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