After a grueling campaign, Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN finished the 2020 season strong at the 2020 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, with Kimi Raikkonen finishing twelfth and Antonio Giovinazzi sixteenth, a result that sees the team finish eighth in the Constructor’s Championship.
The early safety car for Sergio Perez saw the Alfa Romeo drivers split strategies, with Raikkonen opting to pit for hard compound tyres on lap ten, while Giovinazzi stayed out and pit for hard tyres on lap twenty-seven.
After starting down the field in sixteenth, Raikkonen was able to keep the Scuderia Ferrari machines of Charles Leclerc and Sebastien Vettel behind him at the checkered flag to secure his twelfth place finish, enough to make Alfa Romeo the fastest Ferrari-powered finisher. “The Iceman” was very pleased with the pace on the day as well as the growth of the team during this anything but ordinary season.
“It was a positive race with good pace, especially compared to the last couple of weeks,” Raikkonen said.
“We were quite close to the guys in front of us but couldn’t really get any more out of tonight. It has been a good way to close a season that was obviously a bit disappointing in terms of results: we knew after testing we’d have a difficult one, but the team made a good recovery and in the end we made some good steps forward.”
“Hopefully we can continue on this trajectory next year, but first let’s enjoy some time off, back home with our families.”
Giovinazzi was able to make it to the second round of qualifying on Saturday starting fourteenth, but the gamble to stay out during the safety car cost him a better finishing position. Despite this, he shared the same positive mindset going forward as his teammate.
“Now a tough season is ending and I think we did all we could,” Giovinazzi said.
“We made good progress in a relatively short time but there’s still much to improve: hopefully we can do more in 2021, so that we can have more fun and fight for the points with a faster car.”
The 26-year-old Italian driver was also very proud to have achieved a personal goal of his own during this tough season.
“On the personal side, I am happy with my improvement as a driver, which was my main target for the season, and I want to continue like this next year,” he said.
Team Principal Frederic Vasseur was full of praise not only for the solid weekend the team put together, but for the team behind the scenes for the hard work they put in during a strenuous season.
“It hasn’t been an easy campaign,” Vasseur said.
“With so many races in so little time being a big factor on the team personnel’s conditions and making it really hard to work on the development of the car, a process that would normally be spread over nine months.”
“We did make good steps forward, which is testament to all the good work made both in Hinwil and at the track, and hopefully we will be able to carry this momentum into the winter and the new season.”