Vasseur Praises Räikkönen, Giovinazzi after ‘Tricky’ China Weekend for Alfa Romeo

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

Frédéric Vasseur admitted the Chinese Grand Prix weekend was a difficult one for his Alfa Romeo Racing team, although they were able to continue their points scoring run at the start of the season thanks to Kimi Räikkönen finishing ninth.

Following Charles Leclerc’s loss of pace in the closing stages of the Bahrain Grand Prix, both Scuderia Ferrari and the Haas F1 Team opted to run with a new specification of control electronics, but Alfa Romeo opted not too and they were left to rue that decision when Antonio Giovinazzi was forced to miss Qualifying, and there were worries that Räikkönen’s car would suffer the same on race day.

Nevertheless, Räikkönen did manage to finish ninth and Giovinazzi fifteenth, and Vasseur says there is work to be done in order for Alfa Romeo to unleash its true potential, although the team does currently sit inside the top five in the Constructors’ Championship after the first three races of the season thanks to the Finn’s twelve points.

It was a tricky weekend for us, having faced some technical issues on Friday and Saturday,” said Vasseur.  “Both drivers did a good job in the race, managing their individual situations well.

“We scored some more points with Kimi finishing in P9. Antonio showed a consistent performance and finished the race in the midfield, after starting from the back row.

“We have some work ahead and will push to come back stronger in Baku.”

With regards to Räikkönen’s race, Vasseur admitted he had concerns about another issue with the engine on Sunday, but he was relieved to see the Finn finish inside the points.

“I had my fingers crossed on the pit wall,” said Vasseur to Motorsport.com. “It was not easy to push on the buttons!

“It’s important for us to score points every race and be consistent. We know perfectly well that if we want to stay on the top of the rest – I don’t care if it’s P4 or P5 – if we want to stay like this we have to be consistent over all the races, and be able to score points in every single event.”

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