Antonio Giovinazzi says Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN’s performance during Qualifying for the Bahrain Grand Prix showed that the team has improved considerably compared to where they were in 2020.
The Italian will start the season-opening race at the Bahrain International Circuit from twelfth on the grid, and he was incredibly close to getting into the top ten, something he only managed once last year, which came in the wet in Turkey.
“We can be really happy with this result as tomorrow we will start just outside the top ten and with a free choice of tyres,” said Giovinazzi. “We have a very good opportunity to achieve a good result as we saw how our performance was close to the cars ahead of us.
“Today helps us confirm the positive feeling we had after testing: we have improved compared to last year and we feel we can have a lot more fun this season.”
Giovinazzi says the team will be aiming for points on Sunday, although he expects the race to be tricky, particularly with the variable wind that has been hitting the circuit this weekend.
“Our focus is now all on tomorrow: it will be tricky, especially with the wind, but we can bring home a good result,” said the Italian. “We need to put everything together – strategy, start, pit-stops – and get the maximum out of our cars, but we can definitely aim for the points.”
“Not a bad result for the first qualifying of the year” – Kimi Räikkönen
Team-mate Kimi Räikkönen ended more than half a second down on Giovinazzi and will start directly behind the Italian in fourteenth.
The Finn admitted to making mistakes on his flying laps that compromised his lap time, but he was at least happy to advance out of Q1, something that had been tricky to do for Alfa Romeo last year.
Räikkönen is confident that the 2021 C41-Ferrari is a much better car than its predecessor, and he is targeting a good result and potentially points on Sunday evening in Bahrain.
“Not a bad result for the first qualifying of the year: of course, it could have been a bit better, as I made a couple of small mistakes here and there in my laps, but it could have been a lot worse,” said Räikkönen.
“We made a few changes to the car after the morning to anticipate the conditions and perhaps they didn’t work as well as we expected, but we are still in a good position for the race.
“We’ll need to see how the weather is tomorrow, do our best and see what we can get out of the race. We are confident our package is better and we can fight for a good result.”