Alfa Romeo Racing were off the pace once again during qualifying for the Mexican Grand Prix.
Although both cars made it into Q2, fourteenth and fifteenth was the best they could manage.
Kimi Räikkönen was less than pleased with how Saturday went for him, as he thought the car was working better in the practice sessions. He remains upbeat though in his attempt to salvage a decent result from fourteenth in the race on Sunday.
“Fourteenth place is not what we wanted but that’s how it is. The margin to finishing in a higher position wasn’t big: it’s disappointing as the car has been pretty ok all weekend and we looked more competitive in the earlier sessions,” Räikkönen added.
“We’ll have to see how it goes tomorrow: we have the chance to start with a different tyre to some of the cars in front of us, so hopefully we can make it work in our favour.”
Antonio Giovinazzi will start one place behind his team-mate, as his three-race streak of out-qualifying Räikkönen came to a halt in Mexico.
The Italian found his running “difficult”, as he struggled to get to grips with the soft tyres. With that mind, he thinks strategy will play a huge part in the Grand Prix.
“It was a difficult qualifying for us. I did a mistake in the final sector and that cost me a few tenths, but I don’t think it would have changed much in the end,” Giovinazzi shared.
“Tomorrow will not be an easy race, but we have to look at the opportunities we can get. Degradation will be high, especially for those starting on softs, so choosing our own starting compound is the one positive of our qualifying position.
“Finding the right strategy and managing the tyres will be important if we are to make up some ground.”
Team Principal Frédéric Vasseur agrees on the importance of strategy, as he believes the conditions will play a huge role in that.
“After our promising start of the weekend, it’s disappointing to qualify in fourteenth and fifteenth,” Vasseur said.
“These are not the starting positions we were expecting, but we must not forget that this race has seen plenty of drivers making their way through the field thanks to the strategy. Our focus is fully on anticipating tomorrow’s conditions, especially when it comes to the tyres, and finding a plan that allows us to climb some places.”