For only the second time this year, Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN have managed to escape the bottom five qualifiers at their home race this weekend in Monza.
However, whilst one car was safely through to second qualifying with Kimi Räikkönen, the other – Antonio Giovinazzi – was eliminated in the first session, and will start near the back of the grid.
Although only one side of the garage left the track feeling satisfied with the Saturday result, Team Principal Frédéric Vasseur remains confident that, if all goes well, the team can ‘fight with both cars for a place in the top ten’.
“The predictions of a chaotic end of Q1 proved right, and what made the difference was finally the times set in the earlier runs. Kimi performed admirably, putting in a very good lap in his second run and booking a place in the top 15. In Q2, he didn’t feel as at ease with the car but to qualify 14th is still a good result, realistically the most we could have hoped for in these circumstances. “
“Unfortunately, Antonio was caught up in traffic on his Q1 runs and couldn’t make any more progress: hopefully he will produce another good start as he has done recently and climb up a few places.“
Kimi Räikkönen: “We can be happy with this result”
With this being his first breakthrough into the top 15, Kimi Räikkönen is pretty pleased with how his Qualifying day went. Even though he was impeded on many occasions in classic Monza fashion, The Finn profited off the chaos and popped his Alfa up into fourteenth – yet he does feel he could have done better.
“We can be happy with this result, even though I feel we could have been at least one place higher. On my first runs in Q1, the car balance felt really good, but in my last run with new tyres I had some understeer. In any case, we take this result and we fight from here: hopefully it’s going to be a bit easier starting this high, ” Räikkönen stated.
“We knew Q1 was going to be messy and that being in the right place at the right time would be important: it’s not the first time it happened here and it definitely won’t be the last. It felt more like a race start than qualifying, but that’s how it goes.
“It’ll be interesting to see what the race holds for us: we struggled a bit on long runs yesterday, but the car made a step forward since so hopefully we can be stronger tomorrow. We will do our best and see where we end up,” he concluded.
“A disappointing result in a tough qualifying session”- Antonio Giovinazzi
In his home race, Giovinazzi would have no doubt been hoping for an appearance into the latter stages of Qualifying. However, this unfortunately was not the case, as the Italian was relegated to the bottom five and will start the race eighteenth.
Whilst he was understandably frustrated, Giovinazzi still has hope that he can make something of his race tomorrow. It’s not implausible considering how scintillating his starts have been so far.
“We knew it would be like this as the tow can make a massive difference: we tried our best but it was not enough,” said the Italian. “The final run is where you need to get your lap together, but unfortunately I got stuck in traffic at the end of Q1 and couldn’t improve my time: it’s not great but now our focus has to switch to tomorrow. “
“Starting towards the back won’t be easy but we have to try; we did a few changes this morning to improve our race pace and hopefully this will help us with our performance.”