Alfa Romeo Racing was disappointed with the exit of both their drivers in the first qualification session (Q1). Kimi Räikkönen won the 2018 race in Ferrari colours. The Finn made good progress in the final free practice session to finish in eighth position.
But the team fell short as both their drivers were in the dropzone after Q1. Antonio Giovinazzi and Räikkönen finished in sixteenth and seventeenth positions respectively.
An understandably disappointed Räikkönen said: “It’s a disappointment to be out in Q1 after a good morning session. I made a mistake braking into turn 12, locked a wheel and that cost me at least three tenths, which would have placed me four or five places higher and into Q2.
That was pretty much it after that – without the mistake, I would have easily made the cut. We’ll have a lot of work to do to get back into this but we are going to try our best.”
Giovinazzi missed making the second qualification session by just 0.065 seconds. The Italian driver said: “We were expecting a lot more today, especially after an FP3 session where we looked pretty good, but in the end I missed out on a place in Q2 for a very small margin, less than a tenth. Starting where we are, the race will be difficult. We will need to understand how to maximise our race pace, believe in ourselves and see where that takes us.”
Team Principal Frédéric Vasseur also felt the team fell short and said: “We had made some big steps forward this morning and were quite confident going into qualifying, but in the end we fell short. It is disappointing to lose both cars in Q1, even though the margins were so small that a single tenth of a second here or there would have placed us in Q2.
“It will not be easy to make up ground starting from the back, but we will try to recover what is possible and make the best use of whatever opportunity we will get.”
The team will be hoping to make up some places in the race and score points on Sunday.