Robert Kubica completes filming day for Alfa Romeo as Frederic Vasseur says the team’s collaboration with Ferrari continues to go ‘very well’.

With the unveiling completed earlier in the week in Poland, Alfa Romeo had its first track run at Barcelona on Friday, with reserve driver Kubica in action in the C41 albeit using the demonstration Pirelli F1 tyres. The Polish driver completed 29 laps on the short layout.

Kubica was not the only one to be present at Barcelona, though, with regular drivers Kimi Raikkonen and Antonio Giovinazzi also at the F1 track. “It’s always a special moment to be the first to drive a new car,” said the Polish driver.

“Today’s focus was on making sure everything worked as planned and to ensure all systems were functional, so performance was not an objective, but the thrill of driving a car like this isn’t diminished. The car felt good and I am looking forward to driving it once again later in the season.”

Meanwhile, team boss Vasseur added: “Today’s work is a crucial step in our preparations for the season and I’m pleased to report the day went as planned. We were able to perform all the checks we set out to do and now we can focus on analysing these first bits of data and prepare for the next test in two weeks’ time.”

Looking ahead to the 2021 F1 season, Ferrari’s engine troubles were tremendously well-documented in 2020, their customer teams Alfa Romeo and Haas both facing difficulties as they were down on power. The former’s developments aerodynamically allowed them to claw back some lost performance, but nonetheless it wasn’t enough.

To create opportunity for progress in 2021, Vasseur says, the team had a ‘large meeting’ with Ferrari, setting the two parties on ‘a good path’ as they attempt to reverse the impact of last year’s failures. “The collaboration with Ferrari is going well,” he said. “We had a long meeting in the winter to cover the point of last year when we didn’t do the perfect job, but we are on a good path.”

The Frenchman predicts that Ferrari can recover a ‘large part’ of lost performance in their 2021 PU, and suggests that Alfa Romeo, too, can benefit from this significantly as their partnership grows increasingly stronger: “On their side, they will likely recover a large part of the issue we had before, and the collaboration is getting better and better,” Vasseur added.

As their collaboration gets “better and better,” Vasseur says Alfa Romeo are interested in using some Ferrari components in their 2021 F1 car, but he cautions against using too many. “We want to take some of their stuff – perhaps one or two elements, but not much more; I think it’s not the key point of the collaboration,” he argued.

Instead, Vasseur says that the team’s focus in their Ferrari partnership should be to learn from one another, simply ‘do[ing] the best job that we can do’: “The key point of the collaboration is to be convinced that we can learn from each other in the scope of the regulation, and we have to play with this and to do the best job that we can do,” he said.

Here’s details on Alfa Romeo C41 changes

Here’s 2021 F1 launches so far:

Alpine – interim livery

McLaren

AlphaTauri

Alfa Romeo

Red Bull