Alfa Romeo was beaten to eighth in the constructors’ championship by Williams in 2021, scoring just 13 points in 22 races.

The Swiss-based outfit was the most improved team in terms of outright pure performance from 2020 to 2021 but struggled to convert it into regular points finishes with a combination of poor team strategy, bad luck and driver errors to blame.

Reflecting on the season, Vasseur conceded that he had a “strange feeling” when assessing his team’s progress in 2021.

“I have a very strange feeling because I think in terms of pure performance, we did pretty well,” he said. “We had a huge step compared to last year, probably the best in terms of pure performance compared to pole position.

“But on the other hand we missed the good opportunities of the year, in Budapest we were involved in a crash, in Spa we had some missed opportunities on our side, in Bahrain we had an issue during the pit stop, or in Imola Kimi spun on the formation lap. 

“It cost us two points here, four points there. It’s a strange feeling because in the end, the only thing making sense is the points. It doesn’t matter to be faster if you are not scoring points. It’s a bit of the frustration of the team, we had a step forward in terms of performance but we didn’t score the points.”

The Frenchman had a frank assessment of the season for Alfa Romeo: “good on performance and bad on results”.

“During the season, it was really up and down,” he explained. “We had a good start until Monaco or something like this, then we had a tough period in the summer. Then it came back in the last part of the year. But it’s very difficult to analyse, because if you look at the classification, it’s clear, but if you look at pure performance, it’s a matter of one-tenth completely changing the picture. 

“When you are trying to have a look on the season, we have to be careful on this. But overall if I have to rate the season, I would say good on performance and bad on results.”