Kimi Räikkönen and Antonio Giovinazzi were eliminated in the first part of Qualifying on Saturday after their Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN C39’s didn’t seem to be performing at a competitive standard yet again.
After qualifying nineteenth and twentieth last time out in Hungary, the Swiss outfit were keen to rectify their qualifying struggles this week in Silverstone. However, the car’s poor Saturday performance seems to have carried over as the two drivers were once more eliminated in Q1.
Due to Scuderia AlphaTauri Honda‘s Daniil Kvyat and Williams Racing’s George Russell receiving a penalty, both cars have advanced two spots on the grid. So as it stands, Giovinazzi starts fifteenth and Räikkönen starts sixteenth.
“We are still far from where we want to be, but we are heading in the right direction.” said Team Principal Frédéric Vasseur.
“We are getting closer to a place in Q2 and we have to take this as motivation to progress further. Antonio’s and Kimi’s laps were as good as they could be, and we can look positively at the small gap we had from the top 15.”
Räikkönen ‘still missing’ something from Alfa Romeo C39
The Finnish former World Champion believes that, whilst perceivable advancements have been made since Hungary, the Alfa Romeo still leaves a lot left to be desired when it comes to driveability.
He acknowledges that Saturday’s qualifying was a much better result than twentieth at the Hungaroring (his worst qualifying in the entirety of his nineteen-year long F1 career) but does not want to stop progressing further.
“The car has been stronger this weekend, I had a good feeling with it and the handling was good, but it’s obvious we are still missing something,” admitted the Finn.
“I could have been a bit higher up on the grid but I got held up at the last corner, although in fairness the end result wouldn’t have been too different.
“We have things to work on as a team, we made an improvement but we need to keep going in this direction. Tomorrow’s race should be interesting: I expect us to be better and we should be fighting for a place in the top ten.”
Giovinazzi ‘happy’ with progress since Hungary
In both Free Practice Three and Qualifying, Giovinazzi set a laptime good enough for just seventeenth – with the latter of those two earning him P15 after grid penalties.
The Italian-born driver was positive about the result, saying that the team has made ‘steps in the right direction’, although he did not want to become complacent.
“We have made a few steps forward so we can be happy about this: there is still a lot of work to do, of course, but we are a bit closer to the others and we are moving in the right direction, which is giving us a lot of motivation.
“I am very happy with my lap, I feel it was as good as it could have been but it was just not enough for a place in Q2.”
Giovinazzi believes that Alfa Romeo stand a good chance of a points finish on Sunday, as he commended the race pace of the C39. However, he admits that it will take a gruelling battle to pull off such a feat.
“Our race pace looks a bit better so I think we have a chance to battle for some points. We will try to have a good start, put up a good fight and we’ll see what happens.”