Valtteri Bottas has set the target of being "best of the rest" in 2022 after a strong start to the year.
The Alfa Romeo driver qualified sixth on his debut for the team in the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix, and finished in the same position in the race itself.
He qualified well again in Saudi Arabia by lining up P7 on the grid. However, technical issues forced his car to retire from the event on Lap 36.
Despite this, Bottas says that the C42 had felt good up until that point, adding that it appeared to have an advantage during a scrap with the Alpine of Fernando Alonso.
"I think we had a good race until then," Bottas told media including RacingNews365.com. "I was battling with Fernando.
"The car felt good, the pace was good. If anything, maybe we had a slight bit of an upper hand to Alpine. That was the feeling, so not bad."
Viewed by others:
Being behind Red Bull and Ferrari "needs to be the target"
Having consistently gotten into Q3 in qualifying at both races so far this year - as well as beating his former team Mercedes on occasion - Bottas feels that he can aim to regularly take P5 behind the Ferrari and Red Bull cars.
"I think that needs to be the target now," the Finn explained.
"We seem to be more or less in the same place [in Saudi Arabia as in] Bahrain, even though I thought this could be maybe more difficult.
"So yeah, absolutely, I think aiming to be the best of the rest is a good motivation, good target. Hopefully, eventually [I] can fight for fifth position in the race. That would be a good step for us."
It might be early days in the season, but Alfa Romeo currently hold fifth place in the Constructors' Championship, with Bottas' teammate Zhou Guanyu helping the team to secure a double points finish in Bahrain.
The Chinese driver just missed out in Jeddah, having come home in P11.
F1 Podcast: Can anyone stop the Verstappen/Leclerc show?
RacingNews365.com F1 journalists Dieter Rencken,
Mike Seymour, and Thomas Maher look back over the Saudi Arabia Grand Prix in Jeddah, which was won in dramatic fashion by Red Bull's Max Verstappen.