Antonio Giovinazzi believes Kimi Räikkönen remains one of the best drivers on the Formula 1 grid despite being forty-one years of age, and it usually takes a ‘perfect weekend’ for the Italian to beat him.
Both Giovinazzi and Räikkönen were recently confirmed to remain with Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN for a third consecutive season, and the Italian says the Finn still shows that he has the motivation to get the best out of the car, even if this year’s C39-Ferrari is not the best car on the grid.
Both drivers have scored four points in the opening thirteen races of 2020, but despite being towards the back of the grid, Giovinazzi is impressed with how Räikkönen is able to get the best out of his car and tyres from lights out to chequered flag.
“In my eyes, Kimi continues to be one of the best, or maybe even the best, at dividing a race, how to use the tyres from the first to the last lap,” Giovinazzi is quoted of saying to Motorsport-total.com by PlanetF1.com. “And I saw what he did on the first lap at Portimao.
“I’ve heard many journalists say that at his age he has reached the end of his Formula 1 career. But I can confirm that every time he comes to the track, he is very motivated and ready to take a top-spot fight.
“And if I see the goal ahead of him, it’s only because I had a perfect weekend. Kimi has a lot of experience and that helps a lot. It allows him to get the most out of the car, especially in the race.”
Giovinazzi feels his driving style closely represents that of Räikkönen, and as such that makes it easier for the team to develop and understand the car.
The Italian insists the target for the remaining four races of the campaign is to continue to improve and secure eighth place in the Constructors’ Championship ahead of the Haas F1 Team and Williams Racing.
“We are both important to the team,” said Giovinazzi. “My results naturally contributed to my contract extension. What we achieve, we achieve through the co-operation that Kimi and I maintain.
“I’ve always emphasised that our driving style is pretty similar. That can help the team to develop the car more quickly because we are on the same wavelength when it comes to our comments in the meetings.
“We hope to be able to increase our points a little so that we can keep fighting for P8 in the constructors’ Championship.”