Alfa Romeo Racing heads to Hockenheim with a new technical director, its head of aerodynamics Jan Monchaux stepping up with Simone Resta set to rejoin Ferrari as chief designer. 

It’s a move that had to happen, with the Prancing Horse needing to boost its technical line-up in light of another embarrassing season, in which it’s taken a step back from archrival Mercedes.

Monchaux, though, is a safe pair of hands having joined F1 with Toyota in 2002, before moving to Ferrari. He then moved to sportscars with Audi Sport in 2013, returning to F1 and Sauber last year.

The squad continues to punch above its weight care of more safe hands behind the wheel in 2007 F1 World Champion Kimi Räikkönen, who has seen the Swiss team transformed since his original F1 debut.

“Yeah, for sure. I didn’t really remember it that much about the factory but I think it’s twice as big, or it was only the first part - the L-shape - when I was there. But it worked well already at that time. They can produce, for sure, good cars. Now it’s a lot bigger. They have a great windtunnel, great facilities so I don’t think we miss anything on that side, for sure - so hopefully we can do well.” 

Räikkönen continues to be Alfa Romeo’s star performer in 2019, the Finn an impressive eighth in the standings on 25 points, scoring at seven of the first 10 Grands Prix.

It’s a world away from the improving rookie Antonio Giovinazzi, who has just a single point to his name… but has now outqualified the Finn three times in the last four races, to show his future potential.

So it’s all looking good for the minnow squad but it now has to keep up development to ensure it stays ahead of rivals Toro Rosso and Racing Point. Both on 19 points, seven points adrift… 

And Racing Point’s car set to be upgraded almost to B-spec status from Singapore, making it dangerous in the season’s second half.

So the late nights are set to continue, as the technical guard changes at battle hardened outfit Alfa Romeo Racing.