Following a strong start to the 2022 season, Alfa Romeo have seemed to fall behind the other midfield teams in recent races, with the team failing to score since their double points finish at the Canadian Grand Prix in June.
It's well-known that Alfa Romeo were the only team at the beginning of the season to reach the weight limit, with the other teams all running overweight cars in the opening races. The team's around them managing to shed weight is a strong factor in Alfa Romeo's sudden drop.
When asked by MotorLAT about being outdeveloped by the other teams, Xevi Pujolar says he believes the other team's recent aero upgrades have helped them to lower their car weight, minimising the team's weight advantage.
"I think some of the teams, all of the upgrades they have been bringing in terms of aero performance, they reduce the weight," said Pujolar. "So from our side that was something we were at the front in all season.
"So some of the midfield, and even the top teams they had two gains to do. We were quite strong at the beginning because we [already had] the weight advantage."
Despite the team losing their competitive edge, Pujolar remains positive and believes Alfa Romeo can still compete with the midfield, specifically naming Alpine as a target.
Zhou crosses the line in P13 - bringing our race to a close.— Alfa Romeo F1 Team ORLEN (@alfaromeoorlen) July 31, 2022
No points today, but a summer break to regroup ahead of the final three European races of the season.#HungarianGP
"Still we can be, I think, at least close to Alpine. McLaren were strong this weekend, one of them at least. I still think we can be fighting towards the top of the midfield."
Pujolar continued to discuss the team's Hungarian Grand Prix package which, despite a non points finish with Zhou finishing P13, he says performed well.
"The package we brought was working quite well for us with Valtteri but even Zhou was performing very strong.
"[We] pretty much put both cars in Q3 on a track that is pure downforce, weight and driver performance. So, I think that was very pleasing. What was not so pleasing was we didn't finish in the points."
Pujolar conceded that Alfa cannot fight for P4 in the Constructors' Championship now. The team's focus has switched to maintaining P6 in the standings. They lead Haas by 17 points with nine races to go.
"In our fight with Alpine and McLaren, they're pretty much gone, so we're fighting for P6. Vettel only scored one point, so it's okay on that side.