Formula 1

Alfa Romeo ‘achieved the maximum’ in tantalisingly close-to-points Russian GP

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Alfa Romeo - Russia 2020
Credit: François Flamand / DPPI

With Antonio Giovinazzi and Kimi Räikkönen finishing eleventh and fourteenth, it’s strange to hear that Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN consider their 2020 Russian Grand Prix to be a race of maximised potential.

The car has been steadily improving after a flurry of poor finishes early on in the season, and it’s apparent that whilst the team aren’t expecting race wins or podiums anytime soon, they are confident their C39 challenger is on the up performance-wise.

Team Principal Frédéric Vasseur reflected on the evident progress made, saying that the results were rather modest considering both cars started towards the back of the grid. He went on to recognise the significant progress Alfa Romeo have made in the past months, and highlighted his desire to ‘keep fighting’ and ‘close the gap’.

We had good speed [in the race] and both cars made considerable progress from our grid positions, so we can say that we got as much as we could out of [the] race.

[Saturday’s] difficult qualifying, where we didn’t get everything our speed would have warranted, always meant we would have our work cut out [in the race], but to make up ground and leave behind several of our rivals shows we have found the performance we lacked earlier in the season. We need to keep moving in this direction to continue closing the gap within the midfield and keep fighting for top ten finishes.

Räikkönen: “We showed we have speed during the race and that’s a positive for the next rounds.”

After a frustrating Saturday qualifying where he ended up last, Kimi Räikkönen had it all to do in Sunday’s race.

The Finn was promoted up the grid pre-race after penalties for other drivers, and throughout the grand prix he showcased his experience and skill to eventually finish fourteenth. It’s a result he wasn’t necessarily pleased with, but he admitted the car showed pace and potential for the upcoming races.

The car was behaving well and we had good speed, but Sochi is a difficult place to pass and we couldn’t climb up into the points. Considering where we started the race, we probably got all we could from the race: even the slow stop didn’t change the end result too much.”

Antonio in P11 was just a few seconds ahead of me and I could have probably been around there, but in the end P10 was too far ahead.

We showed we have speed during the race and that’s a positive for the next rounds.”

Giovinazzi ‘happy with confidence’ Russia has given the team for next races

Similar to his team-mate, Antonio Giovinazzi was ‘frustrated’ to finish out of the points positions but content with the inherent progress he feels in the C39.

Giovinazzi witnessed a stellar start, profiting off of clean and precise driving to romp home in eleventh. The Italian stated he was ‘happy with the pace’ and believes the result is a sign of good things to come in the next few rounds.

“It was a positive race in which we achieved the maximum we could, especially starting from 17th.

“The start was really good, we once again made up a good few places, and I felt I could push and fight the cars around me. I was happy with our pace and for sure we closed the gap a bit more, so we need to continue like this.

“It’s always frustrating to finish just one place outside the points, but I am still happy with today’s result and with the confidence it gives us going forward.”

Credit: François Flamand / DPPI
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Sixteen-year-old Motorsports Journalist covering Formula One for TCF, follow at @jamesthomasf1 on Twitter
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