Hi, welcome to this post, In this guide, we will tell you everything about F1® Manager 2023 – Alfa Romeo Full Follow this guide step by step.
This is a comprehensive guide and strategy for the Alfa Romeo.
Alfa Romeo – Starting point
Let’s start with an example, Alfa Romeo, and look around… It’ll be easier and will allow us to go through most of the elements of the game!
1 – Car
When comparing teams, the performance of the cars is the most important criterion to take into consideration, especially at the beginning of the season.
Let’s finish clearing the table, and then remove the following items:
- Acceleration is over ninety-five percent dependent on the engine that was selected; we didn’t pick it, so we’ll simply have to work with it.
- The component of the engine cannot be customized.
- The aspect of the cooling system, which should not be prioritized (without decreasing it, particularly the engine cooling!).
We can also sort from car #1 to car #10
What’s the goal again? 7th?… who’s 7th… Williams.
Okay, if I were playing Williams, I wouldn’t even look back: the car is better in all the key aspects than McLaren, Alphatauri and Alfa Romeo… and it’s not too far off Haas and Alpine in some areas, while still being able to try to make up for the aspects where it’s behind…
I chose Alfa Romeo… which finished 6th in 2022.
Did I mention that Williams finished 10th in 2022? No? One more advantage for Williams on CFD and wind tunnel hours (more on that later).
After taking the time to carry out the part analysis as in the previous section, we can retain two main elements between Alfa Romeo and Williams:
- Alpha Romeo is close in med speed cornering
- Williams is about 10% ahead in everything else
2 – Drivers
Bottas and Zhou.
Bottas has the potential to be in the points regularly, if the car gives him the chance.
Zhou doesn’t have a very good pace, but he should be regular enough not to cause too much damage… I hope.
After taking the time to compare, most of the drivers who could be interesting to recruit have either:
- No interest in joining Alfa Romeo
- A contract buyout worth several million
- A slightly better pace than Zhou, but are less regular (more potential breakages…)
We’ll have to make do with what we’ve got.
3 – Staff
With an impressive overall rating of 78 / 79 / 79 / 83 / 80… it doesn’t start well.
- Technical Chief – Stats are balanced
- Head of Aerodynamics – Stats are balanced
- Both Race Engineers have, in my opinion, the worst higher stat: Feedback
- Sporting Director has, in my opinion, the best higher stat: Aptitude
The role of the Technical Chief and the Head of Aerodynamics is to improve parts design and research, so improving the car’s performance more quickly.
I think the primary stat of a good Race Engineer should be composure, which helps improve the driver’s confidence during all phases of a race weekend.
The aptitude stat of a Sporting Director is the maximum improvement in the risk of errors and speed during pit stops.
It’s no surprise, but nothing stands out from the crowd on the staff side.
4 – Facilities
- Car development facilities: everything is level 1, except the design center, which is level 2
- Staff facilities: no team hub, race simulator level 2
- Operations facilities: weather center level 1, that’s it
The main problem is that the level 1 factory can only manufacture two parts at a time. A level 2 factory would add a 3rd simultaneous manufacturer… for the modest sum of 7 000 000$.
Other essential facilities are missing but are much more affordable, so they won’t be a major problem.
5 – Money
- The 9th largest starting capital (out of 10): 16 976 502$
- The smallest budget – excluding sponsor bonuses – for the 1st year: 111 973 495$
- The smallest budget exceeding the budget cap to be allocated to facilities: 7 451 495$
- Car is garbage
- Drivers are correct
- Staff is trash
- Facilities… 404 not found
- Starting money is very low
- Board money is okay
- Sponsors money is very low
- Board’s objective is a unicorn
Alfa Romeo – Feb 20
It’s Feb 20, so you’ll have to spend some time in the various menus!
The development rate for Bottas is low, the development rate for Zhou is moderate, and the level of the racing simulator is 2. Because none of the drivers now have a high rate, spending money to improve the racing simulator would be a waste of money because the drivers won’t obtain many new statistics during the course of the season.
Because Bottas does not place a significant amount of importance on maintaining focus, it is not always a terrible idea to leave him in the balanced position. Alternatively, you might put him in pace (brief runs), with the goal of marginally improving his lap timings.
Regarding Zhou, I like pace, which entails shorter runs. This will assist him in developing a better rhythm, which, in turn, may assist him in gaining some points in the second part of the season.
There’s no team hub, which will be rectified soon. The staff has a fixed progression rate which is enhanced by the team hub, so moving it up two levels doesn’t cost much for small bonuses which will be good to take.
There are mainly two development focuses on modifying:
- Race Engineer: the chosen focus must improve composure
- Sporting Director: the chosen focus must improve aptitude
Never forget to give them job, all year!
Detailed only for staff/driver who have stats you’re interested in.
Morale applies to both drivers and staff members, and raising it to a high level won’t be easy, especially at the start of the season, when results won’t be there.
Morale affects the confidence of drivers, and probably also their rate of development, and has an impact on the staff’s rate of development… and it’s possible to get bonuses via facilities, so do it!
I’d choose to leave the development facilities as they are: everything is expensive and takes a long time to upgrade… although I’d love to improve the factory.
I’d choose not to: if we’re unlucky, we might have to order a few parts in an emergency during the season, but with good management of the manufacturing lines and a bit of luck, that won’t happen, or it will cost less than 7 million.
Staff facilities: I’d start building the team hub immediately, and increase it to at least level 2, maybe even 3, depending on the money available. This will have an impact on staff development speed and morale.
Operations facilities: quite a lot to do here…
Board room: I’d build it immediately, aiming for level 2 or 3 as soon as possible for the bonuses it will bring to job security.
Helipad: I’d aim for level 5 as soon as possible so that when results improve, we can earn more money with bonuses and guarantees during races.
Memorabilia Room: again, level 2-3, for the morale bonus.
Tour Centre: as quickly as possible to level 5, for a tiny money bonus over the season… it’s welcome!
Facilities – Later in the season
Depending on the (positive) evolution of the season, the money available, and your desires for the 2024 season, it may be worth considering a few additional improvements.
For example, suppose you’re planning to recruit a driver or staff for 2024 to replace personnel who have reached the end of their contract (Zhou, Head of Aerodynamics and Sporting Director). In that case, it might be worthwhile to increase the team’s attractiveness. And why not upgrade the team hub and race simulator by one or two extra levels.
The factory also needs to be upgraded to level 2 by 2024 (for early-mid February), the 3rd line will be a much-appreciated improvement.
Alfa Romeo – Car development strategy
I don’t want to do a “Car development basics” section, as that would be extremely long, and Mike Takumi already has an excellent guide on the subject, so I’d recommend it again if you’re interested.
His guide is very long, so a “short” variant is to read only the “Notes” sections and read this or that section completely as you go on if you’re willing to.
Some race strategies involve increasing the pace on tires or fuel consumption, but these are difficult to apply to our car: the drivers don’t have very good smoothness, and brake and engine cooling are rather bad.
What’s more, our car is fitted with a Ferrari engine, which doesn’t have the thermal resistance of a Mercedes engine, for example, which means that being too aggressive on the pace of fuel consumption will have a direct, and very strong, negative impact on the wear of the engine.
The regulations regarding powertrain parts mean that we have at our disposal, for the entire season:
- 3 engines
- 2 ERS
- 4 gearboxes
It is possible to buy additional powertrain parts, but this costs money (and there are 2 cars!) as well as a starting penalty on the grid each time an additional powertrain part is used for the first time.
- 5 000 000$ – Engine
- 2 500 000$ – ERS
- 1 000 000$ – Gearbox
Assuming that we’ll need to buy 2 engines and 2 ERS is fairly realistic, meaning that we’ll have to spend 15 000 000$, which will have to be deducted from the budget cap and the car’s development!
As we sit here today with the worst car on the grid and no parts arriving until at least three or four races later, knowing we must change more than just 2-3 components to even stand a chance against Williams, we need a solution right now if we want any chance at all of staying ahead.
With this in mind, we could envision conducting practice for the initial few races by hand; performing one 15-lap run during FP1 and another 15-lap run either during FP2 or FP3 to avoid excessive wear on powertrain components.
Subverting reality even further, it would even be possible to retire both cars on the opening lap of these races! While such a strategy wouldn’t be realistic…it could prove wise; saving on two engines that might otherwise need purchasing later in the season would certainly prove worthwhile!
Be wary, however, as such a strategy could quickly put us in a highly precarious position.
Are You Striving for Victory with Fuel Economy / Recharge Mode on? Rather than push through to victory at any cost, perhaps it would be wiser to race towards its conclusion with every attempt made at reducing powertrain component degradation and keeping your ERS system recharged as possible.
Zhou is also using used powertrain components (50% engine, 40% ERS and gearbox) in his race to save money, although this could reduce performance slightly. Furthermore, wearing out yellow and orange parts during practice sessions in favor of qualifying and racing when possible makes sense as well.
It is important to keep in mind that our factory is only level 1, which means that it will be challenging to keep up with the speed on the production side of things for two cars, despite the fact that the new part durability feature will be of tremendous assistance.
I’m sorry, Zhou, but it looks like you won’t be able to find the best parts for your car. They will be held in reserve for Bottas because, according to this plan, as soon as the first batch of components leaves the plant, Bottas will utilize them. Then, as soon as the second batch of components is completed, it will be feasible to upgrade Zhou’s car using the first set of components, depending on the availability of stocks, and so on. And in the event that Zhou uses up all of the components from the first group, he always has the option of falling back on the four fundamental components.
It’s possible that at some point in the future, both cars will be able to use the third set of parts, but this will depend on how the stock develops in the meanwhile. Yes, I believe that we ought to plan for at least three sets (a set being one instance of each part, which equals six parts) in design for this first season, and depending on the development of our car and, respectively, the contenders for seventh place, perhaps even a fourth set, which could be partial.
Because it is true that AI cannot be predicted, we will need to monitor the development of our rivals throughout the season in order to maintain our position in seventh place. It is feasible that Williams will no longer be our primary rival at some point in the season.
Beginning with this concept, it seems feasible to create the first two sets of parts with no durability (slider all the way to the left), and this is where the greatest gains will come from, particularly for the first set. The second set will benefit additionally from the expertise acquired by the first set, and, depending on the gap with competitors, durability could be less reduced for the third set if this simplifies inventory management (and lowers costs!).
We should have enough money to do the first 6 designs in intense mode, to improve the expertise gain. I’d use the CFD/WT hours equitably between parts, and as we start immediately with 4 parts, each will have 1/4 of CFD/WT hours.
When these parts are ready, the new ATR period will have begun, and the following parts will each benefit from 1/2 of the CFD/WT hours.
The 3rd ATR period will be used to improve the parts that are too far behind, relatively to our main competitor early in May if necessary.
Melbourne is in 39 days, Baku in 67 days and Miami in 74 days. It’s possible to have 2 parts for Melbourne, but not more, and ideally I’d prefer to be able to manufacture parts at a normal rate to save money.
From here, we’ll have 4 new parts for Baku, the first 3 races will be done in “preservation” mode.
The two remaining parts of the 1st set will be ready for Miami.
1st design line:
- Chassis – 3 engineers – 26 days + 10 factory days = 38 days – 2.1M + 0.55M
- Underfloor – 3 engineers – 36 days + 8 factory days = 70 days – 4.35M + 0.4M
2nd design line:
- Sidepods – 3 engineers – 30 days + 8 factory days = 38 days – 3M + 0.45M
- Suspension – 3 engineers – 34 days + 8 factory days = 72 days – 3.9M + 0.3M
3rd design line:
- Front Wing – 2 engineers – 41 days + 3 factory days = 44 days – 4.8M + 0.225M
4th design line:
- Rear Wing – 2 engineers – 39 days + 3 factory days = 42 days – 4.35M + 0.275M
Make sure you have enough money left over to launch all the intense designs and manufacture the first parts! If necessary, delay facilities upgrades by a few weeks.
For the curious, this may not be the best choice, but it’s going to be okay.
Alfa Romeo – Sakhir to Baku + Sprint
Let’s start with the fun part! This email arrived after the 2nd race. 🙂
For this guide, I will follow these rules:
- The optimal settings from https://f1setup.it/ – [f1setup.it] will be set at the beginning of the weekend, and never changed – Settings will be somewhere between 85% and 95% most of the time
- Simulation of all practice at once (to qualifying)
- Simulation of all qualifying at once (to race)
- For sprint weekends, this will always be the farthest simulation available
- A backup save at the start of the race, used only in case of a crash
- Never load a previous backup to change the outcome of a race
Sakhir, Jeddah, Melbourne
Now for the less fun stuff. As expected, a few half-practice sessions managed manually (a single send off for 15 laps), qualifying in simulated mode, the race in “preservation” mode.
Not a very interesting thing to do, but there were no problems with either of my cars, no accidents, nothing at all, which means that we end up with a first set of powertrain parts in pretty good condition after 3 races.
Melbourne To Baku
During this short break, I chose to launch two additional designs, waiting for the next ATR period to begin (May 1, both designs ends May 3).
These two designs will most likely not be used, they were here mostly for the expertise gain.
Some weekends have a sprint format, which differs from a classic race weekend:
- Practice 1
- Qualifying 1/2/3
- Practice 2
- Sprint race
The special features are that there is only one practice session before qualifying, and that the finish order of the drivers in the sprint race defines the start order of the race.
This is the 2022 format, and it remains to be seen whether an update will bring the 2023 format later, but it’s by no means certain.
Sprint weekends are:
- Baku – Yes, our next race, surprisingly!
- Lusail (new Qatar circuit)
- Sao Paulo
Dry start, then the last 2/3 of the race in light rain – intermediate tires were brought out for the first time this season.
There were several Safety Cars and Virtual Safety Cars. Norris and Verstappen DNF, as well as a few other race incidents that allowed Bottas to finish 12th, to the satisfaction of the board!
An unexpected result, but one that we’re happy to accept – a step in the direction of job security!
Baku to Miami
That’s it, the last two parts are ready, an ideal time to compare the car’s evolution with Williams!
Left: Feb 20 – Right: May 3
We can see a rapprochement, but it’s far from enough. Especially as we’re at durability 0, i.e. -20 kilos, whereas so far Williams has only lost 2 kilos.
For a first set of parts, it’s already very good: everything has been improved.
We’re ready to use our 3rd ATR period on the parts that will have the biggest impact on top speed, DRS efficiency and high-speed cornering, and I think we won’t be able to improve dirty air tolerance, let alone cooling.
Alfa Romeo – Miami to Barcelona + ATA
No particular incident, no (virtual) safety car, a race under the sun. Bottas finished 11th, which is rather encouraging! Second race in a row that the board is happy…
Albon finished 10th, though.
It’s the first time I’ve really looked at the state of the WCC, and I was surprised, I should have been more attentive during the first three races in “preservation” mode. Haas 7th with 5 points, Williams 6th with 7 points.
I went back for a more thorough check of the car analysis, and no, the Haas is still better than the Williams. No mistake about our direct rival, it’s still Williams.
Miami to Imola
On our return from Miami, we received an unwanted email…
There’s always a need for upgrades, and Zhou’s car will have to be improved faster than expected if we want to take advantage of racing incidents… I’ve started manufacturing the chassis and the sidepods “1.5”: they’ll give Bottas a little upgrade while he waits 9 more days for new parts.
This will equip Zhou’s car with the “1.0” chassis and sidepods. He’ll also soon have the two “1.0” wings, which only take 3 days to make, and 4 new parts out of 6 is better than nothing. It should arrive for Barcelona.
The first engine entered the yellow zone for both cars after Imola. We’ll be using it again, perhaps at Spielberg, if by then Williams is still better than us at max speed and high-speed cornering.
ATA qualifying weekends
Some weekends are used to test a new regulation concerning the number of sets of tires available.
- There are only 11 sets of tyres instead of 13
- Qualifying 1 is always with hard tyres
- Qualifying 2 is always with medium tyres
- Qualifying 3 is always with soft tyres
- The above doesn’t apply if it rains, of course
ATA qualifying weekends are:
- Imola – \o/
The rain fell throughout the entirety of the race, varying in intensity from light to heavy at certain points. A really intriguing inter-wet-inter-wet technique, with a number of (virtual) safety cars included.
At the very beginning of the race, Tsunoda completely missed a bend, which caused Zhou’s rear wing and chassis to be destroyed; thankfully, Zhou is still able to use the fundamental pieces of his vehicle. The team’s first DNF of the season came about since there was nothing any of us could do to prevent it.
Later, during the first run on wet tyres, which turned out to be a bit too adventurous, the rain stopped falling too quickly, and the majority of the cars continued to run on tyres with intermediate tread. I can thank Leclerc for making a mistake that caused him to not finish the race (DNF), as it allowed me to avoid wasting an excessive amount of time in the pits switching back to tyres between when the virtual safety car was in effect. Later, a collision between Stroll and Russel resulted in a DNF for both drivers and the introduction of a new safety car.
Albon is currently in seventh place, and Bottas is in eighth place as they are ready to make their third pit stop to change to wet tires for the final ten laps of the race. Third race in a row in which we have experienced an issue in the pits… an approximately 5-second stop for Bottas, who is now in position 10, Albon is in position 6, and then he spins. Bottas finishes ninth and earns the first two points of the season, while Albon finishes 11th and is eliminated from contention. The board couldn’t be more pleased!
Point of situation
It’s May 22, so after 3 months – 6 races already done, with our 6 intense designs, we have used ~36M from our initial remaining budget cap and we still have 68.5M available.
Facilities upgrades so far:
- Team hub is upgrading to level 2
- Board room level 2 – It will stay at this level for now with our current results
- Helipad level 5 – Time to check some guarantees, maybe?
- Memorabilia room level 3
- Tour centre level 5
And we are now WCC 8, with those 2 little points!
I checked the Q2 and finish position (14th, default value) guarantees for this race. No Q2 for Bottas, who had a really disappointing Q1, after some very good times in practice.
There was a safety car due to an accident involving Piastri (DNF), which was the only noteworthy fact to be reported throughout the race. Bottas managed to finish P14, and the board is satisfied.
I checked the same assurances, and there is still no Q2 with really good times in practice; I may wait for ne parts to try with that one again.
Interesting race with plenty of small and large crashes. Tsunoda collided with Sargeant, and both DNF’d, a mid-race collision involving Zhou and Piastri… severe chassis damage, I’ve retired the car, and Piastri DNF.
The rest of the race went through without a hitch, with Bottas finishing eighth, ahead of the two Haas cars, much to the satisfaction of the board. P7 is only one point behind Williams!
There were issues with all three pit stops, which took 5.5sec, 5.5sec, and 6.6sec… Sounds insane, but with a pit crew that isn’t too weary, the risk of error is around 12%.
Barcelona to Montréal
The “2.0” chassis and sidepod designs are complete, 2 rushed chassis have been launched, i.e. new chassis in Montreal for Bottas, Zhou takes over the “1.5” chassis. The two missing designs of the “2.0” set have been started:
Alfa Romeo – Montréal to Spa
1st fact of this weekend… the 1st ERS has already gone into the yellow zone. I was clearly expecting to have to buy two more, but still.
2nd fact of the weekend… Bottas managed to get through to Q2, obviously, I didn’t take the guarantee.
The second half of the race in light rain… the 8.6-second pit stop didn’t help Bottas; he still finished P13, ahead of Albon.
Montréal to Spielberg
2 more “2.0” designs completed! On the warehouse side, however, the stock of the best parts is frightening to look at, as was to be expected with a level 1 factory. It will be necessary to use the rushed mode more regularly to manufacture parts.
Obviously, without any particular upgrade, the car is far behind the Williams on the Spielberg circuit, which favors max speed and high-speed cornering, a good opportunity to use old parts and switch to a yellow powertrain parts configuration.
Looking at the calendar… we don’t have much time left until summer break, which will be an ideal time to rebuild our stock of parts. Moreover, July is approaching and will coincide with the start of the 4th ATR period, which we want to use for research.
Here are the first two “3.0” designs. Quite happy with the results of these two pieces since we’re slightly above 50% on the important stats, and even managed to pass 40% in dirty air tolerance.
The white values “Car 1” are the car’s stats on Feb 20.
It started well for Albon, who was 6th (a really good circuit for Williams), until he crashed. Zhou was hit by a car taking a lap off him and DNF’d. So P18 for Bottas.
Good thing there were no pit stop errors! ….. and obviously, the board was disappointed, but that was to be expected! Another good thing… both cars used basic parts and powertrain parts in poor condition (apart from the gearbox, but that’s okay).
Not a very good circuit for us… rather to Williams’ advantage. P11 for Bottas, no points scored by Williams, a good weekend during which nothing special happened. Oh yes, no pit stop errors!
Silverstone to Budapest
Still manufacturing rushed parts… and two new “3.0” designs started, I forgot to change the parts on car 1 this time though, but the gain is similar.
This circuit should be very much to our advantage… which won’t be the case at Spa: it will be like Spielberg. We need to score points this weekend!
First pit stop for Bottas and Zhou on lap 23, no mistakes. Leclerc crashes on lap 24, safety car. Worst timing! The safety car comes out on lap 28, collision between Russel and Stroll! Safety car again! Several cars take the opportunity to pit, Bottas finds himself in P4. Lap 66 (of 70), Alonso who was 2nd destroyed his car, virtual safety car, Bottas is now P5, with two Alpines chasing him. Albon is P8, Zhou P9… And the last two laps won’t change anything!
Excellent weekend with these 12 points!
Alfa is now P7 in the WCC with 18 points, Williams P8 with 11 points!
Budapest to Spa
Our first two “3.0” designs are ready, the rear wing will be on Bottas’ car in Belgium.
It’s already Jul 25… It’s time to use this ATR period on two 50/50 parts in research. I haven’t said it yet, but the technical regulations that will affect us at the end of the year will be 10% low-speed, 20% med-speed and 30% high-speed cornering. We’re going to have to make a special effort on high-speed cornering, which has been our weakness so far against Williams.
Surprisingly, Bottas had a better Q2 (yes, Q2) than the Williams, so maybe this weekend will be more interesting than expected! Let’s see if this is confirmed in the sprint… P9, so close from points!
With a few powertrain parts penalties here and there… Bottas starts the race P5! No particular incident, Bottas finishes P10, no points for Williams… very satisfied with the result.
Alfa Romeo – Summer break
Time for a well-deserved break! Or not… these three weeks are going to go by fast, and be very busy.
Unsurprisingly, things are going swimmingly on this front.
A delicious email
Two more design projects, and 5 more engineers, just in time!
After a few “3.0” front wing tests, I’ve decided to promote the “2.0” to “3.0”, not much to gain, and especially on what will be impacted by the technical regulation… so I’ve launched 2 research projects, quite simply. When the suspension is available, I’ll see what I decide for this part.
I’ve started detailed scouting to replace the aero and the pit crew chief at the end of their contract in a few months.
Bottas’s contract doesn’t expire this year… And with the points he’s picked up, I can’t see myself thanking him, and I certainly can’t afford to.
I’m still thinking about Zhou, we’ll see if he can pick up a few more points in the second half of the season… maybe Gasly, or Stroll… or even Ocon, these are the drivers I think are within reach given the budget.
Point of situation
Summer break is now done, it’s Aug 25, three months since the last update. We’ve got 39.4M left in the budget cap, which means we’ve spent 29.1M… without the intense design, that’s better! There’s still 11M in available cash.
There’s nothing to celebrate either, as there are still 4 months to go until the end of the year. If the research goes well, there won’t be much money left on the budget cap. And we’ll probably have to buy two ERS… 5M.
And let’s not forget the factory, whose upgrade is due to be launched in early November… 7M. At least it’s not in the budget cap. We also need to make the team more attractive, to ease the hiring process.
For now, Bottas will use the best parts available; Zhou, what’s one level down… we’re not going to lose that precious money turned into parts.
Time to compare the car’s evolution with Williams!
Left: May 3 – Right: Aug 25 – Next comparison when all design will be done and built
Alfa Romeo – Difficulty analysis
At this stage, 2 parts are still missing, and even with them, the differences between the two cars, Alfa Romeo and Williams, should remain similar.
- Max speed will remain in Williams’ favor
- Acceleration will be to my advantage, but it’s difficult to estimate the value of this statistic… bearing in mind that it’s mainly down to the engine – Ferrari versus Mercedes – as well as 0 durability on my side
- I’ve put a lot of effort into DR’s effectiveness, this stat being more or less useful if its value is too low, to the point of overtaking Williams, which, when it’s time to overtake and the DRS is usable, gives me a real advantage
- As for cornering, Williams has chosen to focus on high speed, whereas I’ve tried to keep all three values fairly close, whether via downforce or front/middle airflow, and I end up with the advantage in low-speed and med-speed
- Dirty air tolerance… was to Williams’ advantage, and is even more so now. On the other hand, I’m not exactly sure of its effect… I suppose it allows you to lose less speed in cornering, and it must also influence tyre temperature. Clearly, research will have to improve this for 2024
- Cooling is always to Williams’ advantage, but again, it doesn’t necessarily give a decisive advantage in the race (on the other hand, if I have to buy engines… but that’s a financial management issue, it indirectly impacts performance, and the impact will mainly take place in 2024 – less research, less money available at the start of the 2024 season, etc.)
Alfa Romeo will have the advantage, car-wise, on some circuits, Williams on others, and that advantage should be more or less as follows:
- Zandvoort: fairly even, advantages on both sides
- Monza: completely to Williams’ advantage
- Singapore: completely to Alfa Romeo’s advantage
- Suzuka: fairly even, advantages on both sides
- Lusail: completely to Alfa Romeo’s advantage
- Austin: fairly even, advantages on both sides
- Mexico City: fairly even, perhaps a slight advantage for Alfa Romeo
- Sau Paulo: completely to Alfa Romeo’s advantage
- Las Vegas: fairly even, advantages on both sides
- Yas Marina: more to Alfa Romeo’s advantage
So it’s safe to say that, barring any surprises, Williams has a very big challenge ahead of it in taking over P7, and everything is lined up very nicely for Alfa Romeo to stay ahead.
It’s also important to look back at previous results. First, the races before the 6 new “1.0” parts:
- 12 Bottas
- 13 Sargeant
- 15 Albon
- 18 Zhou
- 15 Albon
- 17 Sargeant
- 19 Bottas
- 20 Zhou
- 10 Sargeant
- 11 Albon
- 19 Bottas
- 20 Zhou
- 07 Albon
- 11 Sargeant
- 16 Bottas
- 17 Zhou
Then, the races from the 6 “1.0” parts onward up to summer break:
- 12 Bottas
- 13 Sargeant
- 15 Albon
- 18 Zhou
- 09 Bottas
- 11 Albon
- 15 Sargeant
- 19 Zhou
- 10 Albon
- 11 Bottas
- 17 Sargeant
- 20 Zhou
- 09 Bottas
- 11 Albon
- 12 Sargeant
- DNF Zhou
- 14 Bottas
- 17 Sargeant
- 18 Zhou
- 19 Albon
- 08 Bottas
- 15 Albon
- DNF Zhou
- DNF Sargeant
- 13 Bottas
- 14 Albon
- 17 Zhou
- 19 Sargeant
- 14 Sargeant
- 18 Bottas
- DNF Zhou
- DNF Albon
- 11 Bottas
- 14 Albon
- 17 Sargeant
- 18 Zhou
We can see that:
- 05 Bottas
- 08 Albon
- 09 Zhou
- 14 Sargeant
The “driver difference” takes on its full meaning, as Bottas has a much higher overall rating than Albon (87 versus 82 in my career before Zandvoort). I already had the feeling during my McLaren 2024 season that Norris was “pushing the car” and regularly achieving better-than-expected results, and this seems to be confirmed on this Alfa Romeo career. The drivers really are Alfa Romeo’s strong point – in the battle of the bottom teams.
But it’s surprising, because so far, Norris only has 1 point in the WDC, even though he’s better than Bottas. Yes and no, to be able to “push the car”, the car in question has to be a minimum competitive, and from what I’ve seen by regularly comparing the Alfa Romeo car with those of Williams, obviously, but also Haas, McLaren and Alphatauri, the new parts at McLaren systematically went on Piastri’s car first, so Norris has never really had a competitive car so far. Perhaps a problem with the AI…
Also, from what I’ve seen so far, and it’s not likely to get any better by the end of the season, money is very tight at Alfa Romeo. It is possible, and in fact has been done, to make a complete set of parts in intense design, while still being able to improve the facilities necessary for the smooth running of the season, and I’m planning to spend another 12 million or so on this (team attractiveness, morale, team hub, and, of course, factory level 2).
If we avoid intense designs, it’s possible to upgrade the factory to level 2 straight away, which greatly simplifies parts stock management, especially as, as we can see, we’re able to compete with Williams, mainly because all parts have been made with minimum durability. Without the factory at level 2, which is our case, it’s going to be almost impossible to have both cars benefiting from the best parts, except perhaps in 2 or 3 selected races, such as those where the characteristics of the Alfa Romeo car are perfectly suited to the circuit to see if Zhou is capable of picking up a few more points.
And don’t forget that we need to have a minimum amount of money available at the end of the season, otherwise we won’t be able to launch designs in January 2024… It’s going to be very tight, so we’ll have to see how the rest of the season pans out, but I expect to be able to meet all our targets without too much trouble at this stage, and the tough choices will all be money-related… a bit less research for a bit more money next season, will we have to buy one or two engines, or will we take the risk of using yellow or orange powertrain parts in races, etc.
Alfa Romeo – Zandvoort to Mexico
Zhou’s car started the race with engine just below 50%.
Bottas made it through to Q3 and started P8 – what a surprise!
He finishes P9, the two Williams are P11 and P12.
Zandvoort to Monza
Research into the suspension is complete, and here too, the “2.0” is promoted to “3.0”, making way for research rather than a new design.
The last two “3.0” parts are also ready for Monza… so here’s the final comparison with the Williams, since from now on there will be no new design for the Alfa Romeo.
Bottas’s car started the race with engine just below 50%.
Bottas made it through to Q3 and started P9 – what a surprise, again! And even P7 due to grid penalities.
The result was quite unexpected: a Mercedes, the Alpines and the Haas behind Bottas… I must admit, however, that the improvements in max speed and DRS effectiveness played a part, as Bottas managed to take advantage of Hamilton to stay ahead right up to the pit stop.
No Q3 this time, Bottas started P10 due to grid penalities.
Lap 13, virtual safety car, that transformed into safety car at lap 14, up to lap 17. Light rain just started, Bottas is P6, Zhou P11. Decided to delay pit to inters for one more lap and after every car’s pit stop, Bottas is P4, Zhou P7.
Finally, P5 for Bottas, none of our direct rivals scored any points, nor Haas for that matter… Alfa Romeo is now 1 point behind Haas, which is WCC P6.
New Q3 for Bottas! P9. Starting P7 (grid penalities).
I tried a one-stop strategy as a VSC gave me the opportunity, I think I should have stuck to the initial strategy… but P10 for Bottas… WCC 6! Same number of points than Haas though.
Suzuka to Lusail
Another design center incident… closed for another 10 days.
I’ve decided to spend more money than initially planned on facilities, in order to gain in team attractiveness: I’ve spotted a few interesting candidates who are reaching the end of their contract this year… but Alfa Romeo doesn’t seem to interest them. I’m hoping that the expenses will allow them to change their minds, otherwise it’ll be 3-4 million terribly spent.
I also bought an additional ERS for Zhou.
Zhou got a penalty because of the ERS. I’ve also given him the full “3.0” set, like Bottas, for this race. I’m curious to see how far he’ll be able to climb!
Sprint started with a red flag at first turn. Then a SC at the middle. Bottas will start the race P4 (3 grid penalities), Zhou P17.
Double multiple collision on first turn, but no (V)SC nor red flag this time. Nothing else happened… almost?
A podium! Now that’s a surprise! And where are the competitors?
Concerning Zhou, he had a problem during the 2nd pit stop… 6.4 seconds. Maybe he could have finished in the points… or maybe a one-stop strategy for him could have produced a better result. I don’t know whether I’m satisfied with his result or not.
New ERS for Bottas for this race, and the penalty that goes with it.
An incident-free sprint. Bottas managed to climb back up to mid-grid before having an incident with Tsunoda which caused a puncture and terminal damage to the suspension… DNF. Zhou P9!
Austin to Mexico
We have to close the design center for 9 more days, 25 so far this year. It’s absurd.
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