The Alfa Romeo Racing team had a poor qualification session at the Red Bull Ring for the Austrian Grand Prix in Spielberg, Austria. Both their drivers, Kimi Räikkönen and Antonio Giovinazzi, were eliminated after the first qualification session (Q1).
Kimi Räikkönen finished in nineteenth position in a very disappointing qualification session. The Finn’s qualifying effort was compromised by traffic on his final flying lap and said: “We kind of expected a difficult day but that’s where we seem to be right now. We knew we would be on the limit, and finding a bit of traffic on my final lap did it for me.
“We have to find a way to regain our competitiveness against our rivals: it’s only the first race, we are not where we want to be but we have the time to improve. Tomorrow we will try to recover a good result: we have nothing to lose so we’ll just go out and try to do the best we can.”
Antonio Giovinazzi who finished just ahead of his team-mate in eighteenth position said: “Not the start we wanted, but we have to focus on ways to make it better tomorrow. I pushed really hard on my final lap, I was on the limit and unfortunately I made a small mistake: I knew I had to try something special but it didn’t work out.
“We can hopefully make up some ground in the race: I think we are a bit stronger in the long run pace so if we get the strategy calls right and keep out of trouble in the opening laps, we can have some confidence in gaining some places as the race progresses.”
Team Principal Frédéric Vasseur looked forward to race day to make up for the poor qualifying session. Vassuer said: “It’s been a challenging start to the weekend and we will have our work cut out in tomorrow’s race. We needed things to go our way and unfortunately we hit trouble with both cars, Kimi finding traffic on his flying lap and Antonio going wide when he was improving his time.”
“It’s definitely not where we wanted to be on the grid and not ideal when looking at tomorrow, but we will need to be at our best to move up and recover a good result,” he concluded.