Bottas joined Alfa at the start of this year having left Mercedes and after a few issues in pre-season testing, the car looked pretty competitive in the early stages of the year.
Indeed, you could make a fair argument that they actually had the third-quickest car behind Red Bull and Ferrari in certain environments, and that was some turnaround from where they were at the end of last year where they ran around towards the wrong end of the field for much of the campaign.
As the season has wore on, though, Alfa have found themselves falling down the pecking order with Mercedes naturally getting their act together and Alpine and McLaren also overtaking them and opening up a bit of a gap in the standings.
Indeed, before Alfa earned a point at Monza last time out via Zhou Guanyu, they had not scored since Canada and that rather underlines the struggles they’ve had in the middle of the 2022 campaign, with reliability issues rearing their head and also a dearth of upgrades being brought compared to some of those around them.
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They’re working hard, though, and Bottas believes simply adding personnel to their relatively small team will only help them going forwards, with them very much punching above their weight this season:
“One of the problems we’ve encountered is related to the production speed of different components. The team has taken this aspect very seriously,” he said when speaking to the Italian branch of Motorsport.com.
“We are aware that we need more resources because we found ourselves having projects brought to the wind tunnel but not realised for lack of staff. Next year, we will have more staff available and it will certainly be an important step for the team’s growth.
“We have a good structure but we need more people. At the moment, there are 500 of us. But, to give an example, at Williams, there are 750. So we know what we are missing, the team is looking for personnel, and the budget for next year is not a problem.”
Long term the key aim for Alfa Romeo
Bottas went on to say that the long-term vision of the team was the priority over short-term gains, though there will be some upgrades for Suzuka next month:
“Ours is a long-term project, we are focused on next season, even if we have some updates that should arrive at the Japanese Grand Prix.
“Among the things we have learned during this championship are also the reasons that led us to start well and to lose some ground race after race.”
Ultimately, Alfa have one of the smaller budgets on the grid after a few years of being towards the back of the field but they have shown this season they have really sound ideas and concepts around interpreting the new rules in F1 and, as Bottas says they plan on doing, if they can add more personnel and resource to the project then who knows what they can keep building, especially with Audi still being linked with a takeover of the team in the coming years.