Mixed feelings for Alfa Romeo Racing after Friday practice sessions in Austria

by Findlay Grant

There was mixed feelings for Alfa Romeo Racing following the first two practice sessions of the Austrian Grand Prix weekend.

Kimi Räikkönen finished the first session seventeenth on the time sheets, running a total of 23 laps, his fastest time of the session being a 1:06.729. The second session saw the Finn make a big improvement on his performance in Free Practice 1, finishing seventh, setting a time of 1:05.728, and running 37 laps.

“It was a bit of a stop-start day, especially in the afternoon with the red flags, but it goes like this sometimes. It’s the same for everyone and we have to make the best of it, whatever the situation.” said Räikkönen.

“The car felt better in Free Practice 2 but let’s not get carried away. It is way too early to say where we stand compared to our rivals, that is something we will only find out tomorrow and in the race. For sure, we have work to do to improve things ahead of qualifying,”

Italian Antonio Giovinazzi did not have such a successful day of practice; he was only able to finish in sixteenth in the first session, with a marginal improvement meaning he was able to finish the second session in fourteenth. Running 30 laps in Free Practice 1, he set a time of 1:06.708. In Free Practice 2, he ran 37 laps, with his fastest lap a slight improvement: a time of 1.06.119.

“I was quite happy with the balance of the car, even though it was difficult to put everything together this afternoon.” said Giovinazzi. “The two red flags came when we put the soft tyres on and I feel we couldn’t use them to their fullest. However, tomorrow is when it matters.

“We have to focus on improving ahead of qualifying and do the best possible job in the rest of the weekend, but I hope we can reach Q3 again,” said Giovinazzi.

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