Frédéric Vasseur felt the pace shown by the Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN team during the Sakhir Grand Prix was not strong enough to allow them to score points, with Antonio Giovinazzi and Kimi Räikkönen ending the penultimate race of the season in thirteenth and fourteenth respectively.
Räikkönen suffered an opening lap spin but aside from that, Vasseur felt that neither the Finn nor his Italian team-mate made any notable mistake throughout the race around the outer track of the Bahrain International Circuit.
The Team Principal at Alfa Romeo hopes the team can finish the season strongly next weekend at the Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi so they can take some momentum into the off-season.
“We kept our cool in a race where many others made mistakes, but in the end that was not enough to bring home some points,” said Vasseur. “Besides Kimi’s spin on the opening lap, neither drivers nor team did much wrong and to bring home the cars in P13 and P14, behind a Ferrari, is probably as much as we could achieve tonight.
“Antonio had good pace throughout the race, but on this track it was quite difficult to overtake and he couldn’t really express it to the fullest.
“We can still find something more and hopefully finish the season strongly in Abu Dhabi next week, so that we can carry this momentum into the winter break.”
“P13 was probably the maximum we could achieve” – Antonio Giovinazzi
Giovinazzi felt thirteenth was the best he could have achieved on Sunday, with overtaking proving to be extremely difficult around the shorter layout around the Bahrain International Circuit.
The Italian believed he had good pace through the corners, but the lack of straight-line speed hindered them to the point where they could not attack those ahead of him, and he was also downbeat that he was unable to profit from the late race safety car period.
“P13 was probably the maximum we could achieve on the night so to finish in front of our rivals and just behind a Ferrari is what we have to take home,” said Giovinazzi. “Overtaking was very difficult, even though we seemed to be quick enough in the corners, and in the end we couldn’t really take any advantage out of the late safety car.
“Hopefully we can be a bit more competitive next week and finish the season well.”
Team-mate Räikkönen ended fourteenth, but despite a good start, he found himself at the back of the field after spinning at turn three on lap one after running wide and hitting the kerb at turn two.
“It was a difficult night in which we probably got as much as we could have hoped for, given the circumstances,” said Räikkönen. “I had a good start but had to go wide outside of turn two, hit the kerb and lost the rear.
“I lost two places there but in the end it made no difference for the end result. The car felt really similar to last week: it was good with fresh tyres but the pace fell off as the stint went on.”