Kimi Räikkönen admits Alfa Romeo Racing were ‘a bit behind’ where they wanted to be in first practice for the German Grand Prix at the Hockenheimring, but they were able to make up ground in the second session on Friday.
The Finn was only seventeenth in the morning session but finished an encouraging eighth in the afternoon, although the placid veteran continues to downplay any significance of the running seen on Fridays.
“It’s been a regular Friday and I tend not to look at the times when it is just practice,” said Räikkönen. “We always seem to be a bit behind in FP1 and make up ground as the weekend goes on, but times only matter from tomorrow afternoon.”
The heat around the Hockenheimring made conditions tricky for everyone, and with rain predicted to fall at some point of the weekend, Räikkönen knows Alfa Romeo needs to keep focused to ensure they qualify in a competitive place for Sunday’s eleventh race of 2019.
“The conditions weren’t ideal: the heat made it a bit tricky but in the end it’s the same for everybody,” said the Finn. “It’ll be interesting to see what the weather does tomorrow and on Sunday, but we just need to focus on the work we have to do to get where we want.”
Team-mate Antonio Giovinazzi was towards the bottom of the time sheets in both sessions, ending eighteenth in the morning and seventeenth in the afternoon, but despite this he believes Alfa Romeo has a competitive car this weekend in Germany.
He says they will push overnight to find the perfect set-up for Qualifying to ensure he moves away from the foot of the field and attack to make it inside the top ten.
“It was a very hot first day of action,” said Giovinazzi. “I did a small mistake on my push lap on softs but I think we have a competitive car so far.
“The weather could change tomorrow but in the end, even if it rains, it’s the same for everyone so we need to adapt to it. We will push to find the best setup tonight and to get a good result in qualifying.”