After a decent performance in today’s French Grand Prix qualifying session, Alfa Romeo is confident about tomorrow’s race, thinking “there is everything to play for”.
Today’s qualifying was full of highs and lows for Alfa Romeo. While the team looked in decent shape after the three practice sessions, Antonio Giovinazzi managed to fall through the cracks and qualify into Q2, while Kimi Raikkonen was less fortunate, being once again out-qualified by his Italian teammate following red flag interruptions.
Giovinazzi admitted being glad about his performance as he is getting closer to what the team defined as the ideal result being a P11 on the starting grid. This place would have allowed the team to have a free tire choice while being as close to the points as possible.
“We can be happy about today’s result: our target was P11, to be close to the top ten but not quite in it, as we knew the soft tires would not be a good compound for the race,” the Italian said.
“We nearly hit this target and we were very close to the cars ahead of us: tomorrow there’s everything to play for. Choosing our starting tire will allow us to maximize our strategy: if we have a good start and a clean first lap, we can make up some places and make our way into the points.”
“As things went, we have to be really happy with the position Antonio achieved: he will be able to start on the best possible tires and we’ll have all strategy options open to us,” team boss Frederic Vasseur added, talking about Giovinazzi’s performance.
On the other hand, Raikkonen could not hide his great disappointment after seeing his timed-lap attempts get once again ruined by red flags. The Finn is now looking forward to tomorrow’s race, in the hope of capitalizing on Alfa Romeo’s apparent positive race pace.
“Recently, the red flags seem to destroy my laps all the time,” Raikkonen said.
“I was on a good one, the time was going to be ok, but when the red flag came out it was game over. In the end, that’s what it is and there’s nothing I can do about it.”
“P17 on the grid is not ideal, but tomorrow is another day: our race pace was ok yesterday so we will try to get a result out of a disappointing Saturday.”