Alfa Romeo Racing team principal Frédéric Vasseur has expressed his team’s anticipation at finally being able to discover where they lie in the pecking order ahead of this weekend’s season-opening FIA Formula 1 2020 Australian Grand Prix.
The Italian team is aiming to build on a relatively strong 2019 campaign where they progressed forward to finish eighth in the constructors’ championship.
Although testing times are never a complete accurate representation of each team’s overall performance, Alfa Romeo’s best lap time of a 1:16.942 set by test driver Robert Kubica on the softest available C5 compound was only good enough to beat the effort of Romain Grosjean in the fellow Ferrari-powered Haas.
Furthermore, a slightly more concerning matter for the Italian team would be their final total of 735 laps over the six days of running around the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya circuit left them ninth in terms of mileage accumulated among the ten teams.
Despite their teething pre-season struggles, Vasseur remains upbeat looking ahead to this weekend and has vowed for Alfa Romeo to continue working to improve throughout the season.
“We come to Melbourne eager to find out how we compare to our rivals: whatever the outcome, we will not rest on our laurels or despair.
“This first round is the start of a new chapter, one in which we aim to make progress week after week,” said Vasseur. “We will need to be delivering our best from here to Abu Dhabi.”
‘We will first know where we really stand after Australia’ – Kimi Räikkönen
Kimi Raikkonen was also quick to reiterate the words of his team principal, as he embarks on a remarkable 18th season in F1.
“Even though we gave our best during the six days of winter testing in Barcelona, we will first know where we really stand after Australia,” Raikkonen said.
The experienced Finn was responsible for scoring 43 of Alfa Romeo’s 57 points upon his return to the Hinwill-based team last season and is positive that the 2020 car is capable of achieving positive results from the very first race of the season.
“All the team worked hard to improve even more the car in comparison to last year. We all did our homework and I am confident that we can achieve good results in Melbourne.”
‘I feel better prepared’ – Antonio Giovinazzi
Meanwhile, his teammate Antonio Giovinazzi has expressed confidence that he is feeling much more prepared at the beginning of this season compared to 2019 and is relishing the opportunity of getting back in the car on Friday.
“I am really looking forward to the start of the season. You build up the excitement throughout winter testing, every day you are in the car, but it’s only when you sit in the cockpit in Melbourne for the first time that you really feel the emotion in your veins,” the Italian stated.
“I am no longer a rookie this year, so I feel better prepared for the weekend than twelve months ago: now we need to get on track and see where we stand.”