For the first time in 2020, Antonio Giovinazzi made it out of the bottom five on Qualifying day – much to the delight of Team Principal Frédéric Vasseur. However, it wasn’t all smiles for Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN as Kimi Räikkönen sadly could not go faster than nineteenth.
Aided by Nico Hülkenberg struggling to set a lap good enough for the top fifteen after he was called upon to fill in for Lance Stroll at the last minute, Giovinazzi pushed his C39 to the limits to get through to the second part of Qualifying for the first time since 2019.
Speaking with regards to Antonio’s performance, Vasseur said the Italian ‘delivered a really good lap when it mattered’ and that ‘it’s really nice to see him in Q2’, but the day for him is marred after Kimi’s upset.
“First of all, congratulations to Antonio for a good qualifying session. He delivered a really good lap when it mattered and it’s really nice to see him in Q2 for the first time this season.
“Unfortunately, it was a bit of a day of two halves for the team, as we lost Kimi in Q1, which is a disappointment after some promising signs in FP3 this morning.“
Vasseur has not lost hope, though, as he concluded by reiterating the determination Alfa Romeo have shown at all previous races this year.
“We have always said that we have to do a good job on both Saturday and Sunday to be in the fight for the top ten and this doesn’t change here in Germany.”
Giovinazzi: To get into second part of Qualifying after tough weekend feels ‘special’
After queries into his future in Formula 1, Antonio Giovinazzi is ‘really happy’ to silence the critics and deliver a strong performance to land him in the top fifteen for the first time this year.
Having also outqualified his vastly more experienced team-mate, the Italian says the way he performed yesterday after a tricky and stunted weekend felt ‘special’, and that he aims to maximise his result by fully profiting from a stellar Saturday.
“I am really happy with what we did as a team. It’s the first time we make it to Q2 this year, something I really wanted, and to do it in such challenging circumstances, with only one hour of practice and on a track I never drove in full before, is special.
“The car felt quite good from the beginning, so we can be confident we can put up a fight [in the race]. We expect the conditions to be difficult with the weather, but we will give it a good shot. [Yesterday] we got the maximum we could, tomorrow we will give everything and hopefully bring home a good result.”
Räikkönen disappointed after poor performance on Saturday
With many sources hinting that he will remain on the grid for next year after nearly twenty seasons in F1, the record-breaking Kimi Räikkönen seems to be set up for a weekend to forget out of his 323 grands prix.
The Finn couldn’t set a particularly pacy lap in Qualifying and subsequently starts the race towards the back of the grid in nineteenth. Although he is not writing off a successful race, Räikkönen did not seem too optimistic about the opportunities at hand for Sunday and quickly surmised: ‘We’ll see what we can do.’
“I can’t be happy with 19th but it’s what we got. We just didn’t have the speed to get more out of those three laps we did: they were not the greatest laps and there was nothing obviously wrong with how the car felt, but we expected more.
“We’ve got to do a better job [in the race]: we will try to make some progress, for sure, and see what we can do.”