Alfa Romeo’s Alessandro Alunni Brav says his side is banking on Formula 1’s return to a series of permanent circuits to continue its recent points-scoring run.

After starting the season solidly with eighth place at the opening race, Alfa Romeo had endured a run of only accumulating two points in the preceding six rounds.

However, Zhou Guanyu recorded a ninth-place finish in Spain and that was followed up by Valtteri Bottas notching his first point of 2023 since Bahrain in Canada.

Despite being pipped at the line by Lance Stroll, a five-second time penalty for Lando Norris promoted Bottas back into 10th.

“We must be happy with the one point we scored today with Valtteri, even though it’s always a bit bitter to lose one position with just metres to go,” he said.

“Still, one point can make a fundamental difference at the end of the season, and we have now scored in two races in a row.

“I want to thank all the team for their hard work towards this result, which was not a foregone conclusion after yesterday’s qualifying session.”

Valtteri Bottas (FIN) Alfa Romeo F1 Team C43. 18.06.2023. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 9, Canadian Grand Prix, Montreal, Canada, Race Day.

Alfa Romeo’s total of nine points after eight rounds marks a complete contrast to this time last year when the Italian marque had achieved a tally of 41 by the same stage.

The Hinwil-based squad’s 2023 struggles have often arisen from a failure to qualify strongly, leaving its two drivers with too much ground to recover on Sundays.

However, Alunni Brav is optimistic that a run of trips to permanent venues ahead of the annual summer break can stand Alfa Romeo in good stead to improve its one-lap pace.

“We know Saturdays are where we need to focus our attention: a better qualifying position can allow us to a fight for higher places and, ultimately, more points. In terms of race pace, our cars seem to be better, so we know the C43 as an overall package can be competitive,” he explained.

“We will race on permanent circuits until the summer break, and we are confident they can better suit our qualifying performances.

“We have seen, once again, how tight the battle is: one single metre could cost a position, just like one single tenth in qualifying can make the difference between Q2 and Q3: we will need to keep on working as hard as possible, both at the track and at the factory, to constantly improve.”

Bottas’ single point in Montreal was enough for Alfa Romeo to move one point clear of Haas in the Constructors’ Championship.

However, Alex Albon’s impressive run to seventh – scoring Williams’ best result in the dry since 2017 – has propelled the British outfit into contention for seventh position in the standings alongside the two Ferrari-powered customer teams.

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