Alfa Romeo will head into the Miami Grand Prix weekend confident that they can move even closer to the front of the field.
Last time out, Valtteri Bottas scored the squad's best result since 2019 in Brazil with his fifth-place finish at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix.
On results alone, it is the best start to a season that a team bearing the Alfa Romeo name has achieved since 1951, and the outfit's Head of Trackside Engineering, Xevi Pujolar, believes that the nature of the Miami track may play into their hands.
"We have done a step [forwards], so I think now we can be close to our competitors," Pujolar told members of the media, including RacingNews365.com.
"But, for sure, we want to do more, and we have more coming."
Alfa Romeo pleased to be quick and consistent
Alfa Romeo have demonstrated impressive consistency during the opening rounds of the 2022 campaign, with Bottas having placed sixth, eighth and fifth in the races in which he has made the chequered flag.
Meanwhile, rookie Zhou Guanyu has enjoyed an impressive start to his F1 career, and has already scored his first point along with two 11th-place finishes.
But the squad's confidence that they can go one step further in Miami will hinge on the nature of the newly-laid tarmac, admits Pujolar, with graining and degradation having proven somewhat unpredictable for teams and drivers this term.
"We can see that, in terms of pace, we're there. In terms of consistency, at least so far, we have been better than our competitors in the races where it's a bit difficult with the tyres," he continued.
"I don't know how the tarmac will be in Miami, but I think we can look at it in quite an encouraging way. We expect to be stronger than in Imola."
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Why Alfa Romeo are confident of another step forward
While the potential impact of the Miami asphalt for now remains a mystery, the layout of the newly-built circuit - that wraps around the Miami Dolphins' Hard Rock Stadium - has already been inspected by Alfa Romeo's drivers in the simulator.
Confident that it is a formation that favours them, the team will be hopeful that they can follow McLaren in joining Ferrari, Red Bull and Mercedes on the podium in 2022.
Alfa Romeo, competing as a constructor for the third time in F1, have not scored a podium since Riccardo Patrese's third-place finish at the 1984 Italian Grand Prix.
As such, a top-three finish would be the brand's first in 37 years.
Pujolar continued: "I think the type of layout will suit us a bit better – but how it will actually look, we'll have to find out when we are there. We'll see.
"Everyone has a lot of expectation for us now, with the package and everything, that we can be fighting with Alpine and McLaren. It is very encouraging for us."
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