Formula 1

Record-Breaker Räikkönen Approaching Nürburgring Return Like Any Other Weekend

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Credit: Antonin Vincent / DPPI

Kimi Räikkönen will become the driver with the most race starts in the history of Formula 1 this weekend, with his three hundred and twenty-third start putting him ahead of Rubens Barrichello’s record.

The Finn had equalled Barrichello’s record last time out at the Sochi Autodrom, but this weekend at the Nürburgring will see him out on his own at the head of the pack.

The Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN driver is not letting the record get to his head however, with Räikkönen insisting he is treating this weekend as he would any other as he bids to score points for only the second time this year.

“Record or not, I am approaching this weekend as any other because once you’re in the car, it’s pretty much the same,” said Räikkönen.  “You need to do your job and try to get the best result you can on both Saturday and Sunday: we have made a few steps forward lately but we still need to qualify a bit higher to make sure we can make the most of our race pace.

“Hopefully we will be able to do it this weekend. I’ve raced here quite a few times, I think I should have won a couple of races but we’ve been a bit unlucky at times, but this is how racing goes. In the end you remember the better memories, so let’s try to make some new ones this time around.”

“The last few races have given us a bit of a confidence boost” – Antonio Giovinazzi

Team-mate Antonio Giovinazzi’s future is up in the air with rumours that Mick Schumacher is close to being announced to replace him in 2021, but the Italian is not letting what’s happening off track affect him.

Giovinazzi has not scored points since the opening race of the season in Austria back in July, but the recent increase of pace from Alfa Romeo has given him and the team some confidence, and he hopes to be a contender for points this weekend in Germany.

“The last few races have given us a bit of a confidence boost: we know we are a lot closer to the cars in front of us now and we can be in the thick of the fight if we do our job properly,” said Giovinazzi.  “The key aspect remains to have a good qualifying and a clean execution during the race: if we do that, we can be in the right place when opportunities appear.

“I have good memories of the Nürburgring: I have raced here in Formula 3 and I have a win and two other podiums to my name. It’ll be nice to be in this venue again after such a long time.”

“The Eifel weather is famous for being fickle” – Frédéric Vasseur

Frédéric Vasseur, the Team Principal of Alfa Romeo, said it is good to see Formula 1 return to the Nürburgring for the first time since 2013, and he, like his drivers, hopes the recent upturn in form continues into this weekend.

Alfa Romeo currently sit eighth in the Constructors’ Championship with only four points to their name after the opening ten races, with only the Haas F1 Team and Williams Racing behind them in the standings.

Vasseur says the ‘fickle’ weather at the Nürburgring could make for a mixed up weekend, and he hopes Alfa Romeo are able to be in the right place at the right time to ensure points are scored by the Hinwil-based team.

“It’s nice to return to the Nürburgring, a great venue for Formula 1 and a word that evokes images of the Nordschleife and a very old-school kind of racing,” said Vasseur.  “We saw some encouraging signs in the last few races but you don’t get any points for self-confidence, you get them for top-ten finishes and this is what we need to aim for.

“We expect the weekend to be colder than what we have experienced so far, so finding the right setup for these conditions will be crucial to be competitive. The Eifel weather is famous for being fickle so that could mix up the cards on Saturday and Sunday and we’ll need to be ready to react to changing circumstances.

“In the end, we know that we can put two cars in Q2 and that has to be our aim: if we do that, we can play a role in the battle for the top ten come race day.”

Antonio Giovinazzi is looking for only his second points finish of the season this weekend in Germany – Credit: Antonin Vincent / DPPI
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