Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN registered their first double points finish of the season on Sunday’s race at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix.
Kimi Räikkönen finished in ninth place, his joint highest finishing position of the year. The Finn driver spent a lot of the race in fourth position after being the last driver on the grid to take his mandatory pit stop. After pitting he did sit out of the points however after retirements from Max Verstappen and George Russell, plus a spin from Alexander Albon in the dying stages, he was promoted up to the points and crossed the line in ninth.
Räikkönen said: “It was a good result for the team, with two cars in the points, so we can be happy about our race. We knew we could make the tyres last so to run as long as we could was the plan all along. We pitted when we did and the Safety Car came out soon after, which is obviously a bit frustrating, but I don’t know if it would have made much of a difference.
“In the end, we had good race pace and we were able to be in the right place to gain from the opportunities that arose. We have been closing the gap lately, there’s obviously still much we can improve, but we keep working hard for that.”
Antonio Giovinazzi scored points at the third try this year of a home Grand Prix for the Italian driver. Giovinazzi also benefited from the same race retirements as Räikkönen to grab a point for the third this this year.
“I am really happy for the team’s result and, of course, for scoring points in my home Grand Prix. It has been a very strong race, especially starting from last place, and finishing in the top ten really was the most we could do,” said Giovinazzi.
“Our strategy was good and climbing six places in the first lap definitely helped. It’s a nice way to celebrate signing a new contract and I am grateful to everyone in the team for today’s race.”
CEO and Team Principal Frédéric Vasseur is elated the team could bring home double points, but knows the team still have a lot of work to do going forward: Alfa Romeo have struggled all year and have constantly been one of the back-footers so here’s hoping the points give the team a welcomed boost.
Vasseur said: “The team has delivered a strong performance as a whole. The strategy calls were good, the pit-stops went well and, of course, the drivers executed their races without putting a wheel wrong. Bringing home our first double-points finish of the season is a good reward for our efforts today. There is still a lot of work to do, of course, but we are making progress and we were in the right place to take advantage of how the race unfolded.”