Alfa Romeo’s Frédéric Vasseur: “We want to finish in the points with both cars”

by Paul Hensby
Antonio Giovinazzi - Alfa Romeo Racing - Shanghai International Circuit

Frédéric Vasseur feels Alfa Romeo Racing’s 2019 challenger, the C38-Ferrari, has shown itself to have ‘great potential’, although technical issues have cost the team some valuable points across the first three Grand Prix.

Vasseur, the team principal of the Hinwil-based outfit, is pleased that Kimi Räikkönen has secured points in each of the opening races in Australia, Bahrain and China to sit seventh in the Drivers’ Championship, however team-mate Antonio Giovinazzi is yet to secure his first points in Formula 1 after suffering with the majority of the technical issues the team has suffered with.

“I normally don’t spend much time in over-analyzing previous races – I look forward and work hard on how we can come back even stronger – but after three races it makes sense to reflect on our performance so far,” said Vasseur.

“We’ve scored points, which is great, the car showed great potential, but at the same time we faced some technical issues and tricky situations.”

Vasseur has heaped praise on Räikkönen for his points scoring run in the opening three races, feeling the Finn is giving precise feedback to the engineers back in the garage to help improve the car.

“Kimi is doing a great job, his feedback to engineers is as precise as it can be and as soon as he sits in the car, he gets the job done,” said Vasseur.

Whereas Räikkönen has scored points in all three races, team-mate Giovinazzi has yet to break into the top ten but Vasseur feels this is more down to the team than the driver, and the team principal is sure the Italian will be able to show his full potential sooner rather than later.

“Antonio so far couldn’t show his real potential, but that’s completely down to the team,” admits Vasseur.  “Some technical issues and therefore missed track time meant that he could never get comfortable and get the best out of the car, but especially in Australia in Q1 he showed how fast he is.

“Everyone just needs to be a bit patient and I’m sure he’ll come around.”

The target for Alfa Romeo in this weekend’s Azerbaijan Grand Prix at the Baku City Circuit will be points for both Räikkönen and Giovinazzi, with Vasseur hopeful the work the team has put in since the Chinese Grand Prix will pay off with a strong weekend.

“Baku means crashes and safety cars and overtaking so you’ll never know what to expect from the race, but our target is clear: we’ve put a lot of work into the development of our performance since the race in China so we want to finish in the points with both cars,” concluded Vasseur.

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