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Daily Mirror
Daily Mirror
Daniel Moxon

British GP make-or-break for Alfa Romeo's F1 duo hoping prayers will be answered

Alfa Romeo have brought significant car upgrades to the British Grand Prix which their drivers have warned will be make-or-break for their season.

Red Bull have been running away with it at the top of the constructors' championship so far this season. Behind them, though, the competition for the higher points places has been fierce.

Mercedes, Ferrari and Aston Martin have generally been a cut above the rest, while Alpine and McLaren are the next best placed to snatch the final points positions available.

That has made it tough for teams like Alfa Romeo to convert performances into results. They have also been hampered by a lack of one-lap pace, leading to poor qualifying results which have hampered them on race day.

Valtteri Bottas is praying that will change at Silverstone. His team has introduced significant car upgrades in time for the British GP, which he hopes will make them more competitive.

And if the changes don't have the desired effect this weekend, the Finn told Mirror Sport he will be left worried for the rest of the season. "We're getting close to halfway through the season and we need to start to see some steps," Bottas said in our exclusive interview in the Silverstone paddock.

"This particular upgrade is really targeted on the high-speed corners so it's the best track for us to see the gains. This weekend will be defining. If we struggle this weekend, then that's not going to be promising for the rest of the year.

Bottas told Mirror Sport how important the British Grand Prix is for his Alfa Romeo team (Simon Thompson)

"It's an important weekend and we want to make sure that we make a step forward now, because that will give us more hope for the rest of the year."

Bottas' message was echoed by his team-mate Zhou Guanyu. Also speaking to Mirror Sport, the Chinese racer elaborated on just how big of a difference these changes to the Alfa Romeo cars could make, depending on how successful they are.

Zhou said: "It's a big upgrade, we're talking about maybe a few tenths, or one or two tenths, which these days is more than enough to be fighting for the top 10, or to be 15th.

"On the other hand, we need to see if this direction is working and, if so, we need to keep working in this direction for the coming season. I agree with Valtteri that it's super important. I'm looking forward to driving it and, hopefully, it will be the right way and we can continue to try our hardest to bring the car back up."

Zhou is also praying for strong pace at Silverstone (Simon Thompson)

If the upgrades are not as effective as hoped, the positive news, in Zhou's mind, is that it won't necessarily have a bearing on their 2024 car. He added: "For my side, looking at next year is quite far away.

"We have the new technical director James [Key] coming in so we really need to see. He might have a different opinion from his past experience. He will, based on what we are able to achieve in the second half of this season, think about if we'll stick with this way or find another solution.

"It definitely will impact a lot between now and the last race of this year, though, for sure. It's hard during the season to have a completely different car because we're not a factory team and we don't have 1,000 people able to work on different cars. We need to stay where we are but hopefully go in the right direction."

Alfa Romeo celebrates the 100th anniversary of its high-performance Quadrifoglio division this year. To find out more, visit the Alfa Romeo website.

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