Alfa Romeo Racing arrive at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez with the intent of contending for points in the Mexican Grand Prix.
Kimi Räikkönen has gone five races without scoring, leaving him fourteenth on thirty-one points, bottom of the six-way fight for ninth in the Drivers’ Championship.
The Finn who had turned forty last week, is set to become the first driver to race in Formula 1 at that age since Michael Schumacher and Pedro de la Rosa in the 2012 Brazilian Grand Prix.
The 2007 World Champion is not fazed by his recent barren run, as he is convinced that he can “give 100%” to finish 2019 on a high note.
“Mexico gives us a chance to get back in the points,” Räikkönen said.
“It doesn’t really matter what we did in the past few races, our focus is on the next events and we need to make sure we go out and do our job well. If we do that, we will be in the battle for the points, this is what matters.
“We know the final four races are very important and we will continue to give 100% to finish the season well.”
Antonio Giovinazzi has out-qualified his team-mate in the last three races, as the Italian remains confident that a 2020 seat is looming large.
A fourteenth place finish at Suzuka was little to celebrate but a good performance in Mexico will most certainly boost his morale.
“The next two races will be a crucial moment for us,” Giovinazzi shared.
“Back-to-backs are always an opportunity to build momentum so it will be important to do well in Mexico and carry on to Austin. I have never raced in Mexico City but I had two practice sessions there and I quite like the track.
“The layout, with its long straights, reminds me of Monza, but the conditions will be very different due to the altitude. Hopefully our car will suit the circuit well and we will be in the fight for points.”
Alfa Romeo remain in eighth in the Constructors’ Championship on thirty-five points, seven ahead of nearest rivals Haas F1 Team. Last year’s event saw the Swiss squad get both cars into Q3, with Charles Leclerc ninth and Marcus Ericsson tenth respectively. The race saw the pair move up the order, as Leclerc finished a superb seventh and Ericsson in ninth position.
Team Principal Frédéric Vasseur will be hopeful of a weekend as consistent as that to have a slim chance of catching Racing Point F1 Team in seventh.
“We approach the final four races of the season with the confidence we can be in the battle for points at each of these events,” Vasseur quoted.
“Everyone in the team is working hard, both at the factory and at the track, to make sure we extract all of our potential. Mexico is a track with unique characteristics – it’s bumpy, the altitude and the thin air have a strong effect on the car and you have very long straights and a slow and twisty middle sector.
“The practice sessions will be key to set up the car properly for the rest of the weekend, but I think we will be able to show what we can do.”