Formula 1

Alfa Romeo’s Frédéric Vasseur: “Starting from the back we were always going to be at a disadvantage”

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Credit: Antonin Vincent / DPPI

Frédéric Vasseur, the Team Principal at Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN, says the performance levels of the C39-Ferrari during last weekend’s Hungarian Grand Prix was far better than the results showed, with neither Kimi Räikkönen nor Antonio Giovinazzi troubling the points.

Their race pace was promising, but both Räikkönen and Giovinazzi were compromised right from the get-go thanks to a poor Qualifying performance on Saturday that left them both right at the back of the field.

Räikkönen’s race was also hindered by a five-second time penalty for being out of position at the start, while Giovinazzi’s decision to switch to the soft Pirelli tyre in his first stop backfired as the pace of the tyre dropped off considerably very quickly in the stint.  Ultimately, the Finn finished sixteenth and the Italian seventeenth.

Vasseur believes that the C39 is a good race day car, but they need to work on its performance on the shorter runs to give Räikkönen and Giovinazzi the chance to fight for points on Sundays.

“The end result is disappointing but looking at the data it is very clear the car was more competitive than our finishing positions would suggest,” said Vasseur.  “We had the pace to challenge our direct rivals and some quicker cars, but starting from the back we were always going to be at a disadvantage.

“Both cars had good pace and we could have brought home a point or two with a bit more luck, but Kimi’s penalty and Antonio suffering on the soft tyres meant we weren’t able to make up the deficit.

“With a better qualifying yesterday, we would have been in the thick of the fight for points.”

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