Seidl sets F1 2023 target for Alfa Romeo Sauber

Andreas Seidl has outlined his 2023 F1 targets for Alfa Romeo Sauber

Andreas Seidl has outlined his 2023 F1 targets for Alfa Romeo Sauber

Alfa Romeo Sauber boss Andreas Seidl has targeted continued progress from his new team during the 2023 F1 season.

Seidl joined Sauber Group as CEO having been team principal at McLaren in recent years.

He joins a team that finished sixth in the constructors’ championship last year with 55 points – tied with Aston Martin, but ahead on countback.

It’s a step further down the grid from his previous employer, but he joins as it ramps up ahead of Audi’s formal arrival in F1 in 2026.

The German marque has already bought a stake in Sauber Group with plans to increase that investment in the medium term.

Alfa Romeo Sauber was one of the notable improvers in 2022, scoring strong points in the early races before falling back as the development race heated up from mid-season.

Nevertheless, a 55-point haul contrasted sharply against the 13 it managed in 2021 and eight from the year before that.

“We have seen in 2022, at the start of a new regulations cycle, that this team can deliver a strong car and make progress up the grid,” Seidl observed.

“The key for us is to continue in this direction in the coming months and years.

“What I want to see is progress in every area of the team, be that at the factory or trackside.

“Having seen and recently experienced how the team has prepared for this coming season under the leadership of our Technical Director, Jan Monchaux, and Operations Director, Axel Kruse, I am very optimistic we will achieve this as a team.”

Alfa Romeo Sauber heads into 2023 with an unchanged driver lineup with Valtteri Bottas partnered by Guanyu Zhou.

Having joined from the all-conquering Mercedes operation, Bottas revelled in his new role as team leader, scoring the lion’s share of the team’s tally with 49 points from the 22 races last year.

“Most importantly, they are both fast,” Seidl said of his drivers. “That’s the biggest thing for a driver.

“But they are also impressive people and I’ve had some very interesting chats with them about the team.

“Valtteri’s experience and race-winning knowledge are great assets for us which, combined with his focus and commitment, will help us to further develop as a team. But he’s also a fun guy to be around.

“Zhou complements Valtteri well,” he added.

“I like a mix of youth and experience in a driver line-up, and Zhou proved last year that he deserves his place in Formula 1. He showed continuous improvement.

“F1 is such a big step up from anything that drivers have experienced in the junior formulas and Zhou is used to this environment now.

“I am looking forward to seeing the next step from his side going into his second F1 season with us.”

The F1 circus this week heads to Bahrain for pre-season testing, which runs from Thursday to Saturday (February 23-25).

The opening round of the season follows a week later, the Bahrain Grand Prix running from March 2-5.

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