Alfa Romeo was the final F1 team to formally unveil its 2022 car - the C42 - on Sunday morning.

The Swiss-based outfit slipped to ninth in the constructors’ championship in 2021, dropping behind Williams. 

Alfa Romeo hasn’t finished higher than eighth since it returned to the sport in 2019 but with an all-new driver line-up combined with new rules for this year, team boss Vasseur is optimistic of a better campaign.

“The most important thing is to improve, always to improve and close the gap with the best ones on the grid,” he said.

“You can have different KPIs in terms of performance, but for sure we are fighting for the championship and, at the end of the day, the final target is to improve the championship position.

“We had a poor season last year with P9 and we want to do much better this season, but I also want to close the gap in terms of pure performance – because this is the reality of the job of the people back at the factory If it comes to numbers, I would say that P7 would be a decent target.”

As part of the changes for this season, F1’s cost cap has been made even stricter, coming down from $145 million in 2021 to $140 million for 2022.

Despite the stricter financial regulations, Vasseur thinks F1’s top teams will continue to have an advantage.

“It’s the first time we are developing and producing a car under the cost cap regulation,” he added. “I think that the big teams will probably retain an advantage, so we have to be realistic.

“It very often feels the same when you start a season: the first day is like the first day at school, you want to see who will be sitting next to you, but this one, starting from scratch, is even more exciting.

“We know that we stopped our development quite early last year and that we were fully focused on 2022, so we want to see if we can reap the rewards of that decision.”