After four months of lockdown and seven months since the last competitive Formula 1 race, and Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN’s resident iceman Kimi Räikkönen is ready to get on track and perform.
The Austrian Grand Prix will be the first of two races held on consecutive weekends at the Red Bull Ring to kick off the season, and while the 2007 world champion enjoyed his break, he is ready to get back to business.
“It will feel a bit weird to get back to racing in these conditions, but I am sure that once we are in the car we will not focus on the restrictions but just on doing the best job we can,” Räikkönen said in a press release.
“The break was a chance to spend time with my family but now we have to focus on the job. With so many races in so little time, we need to make the most of every event and score points every time we get the chance. It’s hard to tell where everyone stands, but we will find out soon enough.”
Räikkönen, the oldest and most experienced driver on the 2020 grid, was the breadwinner for Alfa Romeo with 43 of the team’s 57 points giving him 12th place in the drivers’ standings. Younger teammate Antonio Giovinazzi struggled to finish 17th in the drivers’ standings on 14 points.
Alfa Romeo as a team did not have a strong finish to last season, as Räikkönen and Giovinazzi finished 13th and 16th respectively at the 2019 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. The team will look to improve upon their eighth place finish in the constructors championship and hope to be more than a team on the fringe of the midfield who occasionally score points.
The 2019 Austrian Grand Prix was one such race, a double points paying finish for Alfa Romeo, despite both cars finishing one lap down. Räikkönen finished ahead of Giovinazzi with a ninth place finish, and he will look to improve upon that and collect more points this season.
The team said they were pleased with how the car performed in winter testing, but with so much time removed from the sport due to COVID-19, it remains to be seen how teams will fare this season until the free practice sessions get underway.