Despite failing to make a second consecutive Q3 appearance after three promising free practice sessions in Azerbaijan, Alfa Romeo’s team principal, Frederic Vasseur qualified today’s session as “best qualifying performance of the year.”
Two weeks ago, Antonio Giovinazzi showed an exceptional form around the streets of Monaco and managed to put an Alfa Romeo single-seater in Q3 for the first time of the year.
This weekend also started in an extremely promising way for the Italian driver and his over-experienced teammate, Kimi Raikkonen after a P7, P12 finish in FP2. Nonetheless, even after three positive practice sessions, Giovinazzi also left his mark on the turn 15 barrier, crushing his C41 in the wall like many others did before. The driver was thankfully alright after the incident.
Later in the session, Raikkonen was eliminated in Q2 after having to attempt a last and decisive flying lap on used tires due to the multiple red flags that were shown today. Nonetheless, even after displaying what could be considered a disappointing result, Vasseur admitted being satisfied by the overall performance and pace the team has been showing so far.
“This has been our best qualifying performance of the year,” Vasseur said.
“I know this sounds strange, with one car in P14 and the other unable to set a time, but our pure pace was the best it has been on a Saturday this season.”
“Antonio was unlucky to end his session so early after being in good form during yesterday’s sessions, but we can be confident in our pace for tomorrow.”
“Kimi, running on used tires, was less than a second from provisional pole at the end of Q2 and little more than 0.02 from Ricciardo, on fresh rubber.”
“He was on a good lap and would have had a tow on the final straight, so we are confident he would have been there or thereabout for the top ten.”
“If today’s anything to go by, anything can happen tomorrow and we can fight for a good result.”