Alfa Romeo lost for words over lack of race pace

by Harry Slade
Antonio Giovinazzi

Alfa Romeo Racing have found themselves lost for words over their lack of race pace at this weekends Formula 1 Japanese Grand Prix.

The Swiss-Italian outfit found themselves just outside the top ten in Sunday morning’s rearranged qualifying session courtesy of a sterling lap from Antonio Giovinazzi.

But the race itself only saw the team struggle, as both Giovinazzi and team-mate Kimi Räikkönen languished in the lower placings – without ever challenging the upper midfield.

Alfa Romeo Team Principal, Frederic Vasseur was critical of the teams ability to extract the cars full potential thoughout the race and admits the Hinwil-based squad must look to address this.

Vassuer said: “We got into the race hoping to be in the top ten but in the end we weren’t able to fight for the points after the opening laps.

“We showed a much better pace in the closing stages, on the soft tyres, so we will have to review what happened and analyse the data to ensure we can deliver the same level of performance throughout the race.

“In such a tight field, we need to extract the best from our car at all times or the competition will have the upper hand, which is what happened today.”

Räikkönen shared a similar sentiment to Vassuer, admitting that they couldn’t find a balance in the races earlier stints.

The Finn said: “We always do all we can to bring home a good result and in the end the car was pretty good on the last set of tyres.

“We were running three, four seconds faster than earlier in the race, but unfortunately by then we had lost a lot of time and our afternoon was compromised.

“We couldn’t find a good balance in the first two stints on medium and hard tyres, they just wouldn’t work and I had no front end.

“We have to look at the data to understand what happened and figure out what to fix, so that we can consistently have the performance we had in the final part of the race.”

However, Giovinazzi chose to remain relatively optimistic, with his belief that the potential of the car is firmly there to see in spite of a lack of result to show for it in recent races.

The Italian stated, “The conditions weren’t ideal with the wind, but in the end it’s the same for everyone so we need to focus on our work.

“Our pace turned out to be better in qualifying than in the race in comparison with our rivals and we have to understand why.

“The potential of the car is there but we have to keep working to improve ahead of the final races and do the best possible job in the rest of the season.”  

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