Antonio Giovinazzi says that Alfa Romeo Racing‘s strong performance in qualifying for the Austrian Grand Prix shows the improvements it has made to its 2019 Formula 1 car.
Giovinazzi made it into the top 10 shootout for the second race in succession, qualifying in eighth behind team-mate Kimi Räikkönen by just 0.013 seconds.
Due to a grid penalty for Kevin Magnussen, the Italian has moved up to a career best starting position of seventh and presents a great chance to obtain his first F1 points finish.
Alfa Romeo team principal Frédéric Vasseur said that his team had made improvements after the French Grand Prix in order to find more consistent pace and realise its upper-midfield targets, and Giovinazzi agrees with that opinion.
“I am really pleased with today’s performance, both mine and of the team as a whole,” said Giovinazzi.
“Our car has made a step forward since France, I feel I am getting more and more confident every time I step in the car and I am happy with the work we are doing together with the team.”
Both Giovinazzi and Räikkönen’s pace confirms Alfa Romeo’s improving qualifying pace, but strategic errors on Sunday afternoons have curtailed the team’s progress in the Constructors’ Championship.
The Italian holds confidence in the team’s long run pace after a promising Friday at the Red Bull Ring, but understands that it will be hard pushed to hold off the attentions of a tightly-matched midfield and faster cars – such as Scuderia Ferrari‘s Sebastian Vettel – that are starting out of position.
“Having two cars in the top ten gives us a good chance to score points, but we still need to work out the best strategy for the race,” Giovinazzi added.
“Our long run pace is good and I think we can play our part in tomorrow’s battle: we’ll be giving it all we have to bring home a good result.”