Alfa Romeo Racing‘s Kimi Räikkönen has said that the team had a “pretty strong” car for the first outing of the 2019 Formula 1 season held at Albert Park.
Räikkönen started inside the top ten on his return to the team that gave him his Formula 1 debut back in 2001, albeit in its previous guise as the Sauber F1 Team, and ran strongly throughout the race, although he was forced to pit early due to debris within his brake ducts that saw the temperature of his rear brakes rocket.
“Our car was pretty strong in the race, but then we got stuck behind cars and there’s not much you can do,” said Räikkönen, who was able to score four points thanks to an eighth place finish despite the early stop.
“It seems that it is easier to get closer to the car in front of you but it’s still very hard to overtake. In addition, we had an issue with the temperature of the rear brakes as one of the tear-offs from the visor went in and that’s why we had to pit earlier than planned.”
Despite these issues, the Finn is optimistic for the next race of the season in Bahrain, which is due to be held at the Bahrain International Circuit at the end of the month.
“But as I said, the car had a lot of speed and it felt good, so I’m looking forward to the race in Bahrain.”