Antonio Giovinazzi enjoyed a productive and competitive-looking day at the Bahrain International Circuit on Saturday, with the Italian placing fifth fastest overall for Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN.
Approaching his third campaign with Alfa Romeo, Giovinazzi is looking for a much-improved season in 2021, particularly after scoring only four points in the seventeen races of the 2020 season.
With Scuderia Ferrari having developed their engine over the winter months, Alfa Romeo go into the new season with renewed confidence of a more competitive campaign this year, and Giovinazzi was pleased with what will be his final time behind the wheel of the C41 before the season begins in earnest later this month.
“I am really happy with the work we did: it was a long day, with a lot of laps, but I think we ticked all the boxes on our list,” said Giovinazzi, who completed one hundred and twenty-five laps on Saturday. “We did long runs and qualifying runs and we managed to achieve all we set out to do.
“It was my last day in the car before the first race and I feel confident about the season. We worked very hard during the winter and we are ready for the first round: it’s hard to say where we expect to stand, I think we have a good baseline but we won’t know for certain until the first qualifying of the year.”
“It was another good day of testing” – Jan Monchaux
Jan Monchaux, the Technical Director at Alfa Romeo, was pleased to see Giovinazzi complete a full race simulation on Saturday morning before the team switched their attention to shorter, qualifying simulation-style runs.
Kimi Räikkönen will take over from Giovinazzi for Sunday’s third and final day of pre-season testing, and Monchaux is hoping for another positive day for the team.
“It was another good day of testing, with 125 laps to our name,” said Monchaux. “We were able to run our first race simulation in the morning: it went well and we learnt a lot of things that will serve us well during the season.
“The focus in the afternoon was more on our one-lap performance and on set-up work. It was important to have another full day without reliability issues, so that we could run all the tests we wanted.
“Antonio did a great job, extracting most out of each lap, as he did yesterday. Now the baton passes to the engineers, crunching the data and preparing tomorrow’s session. Kimi will be back in the car and we’re very likely to run a similar programme to today’s to close off our testing week.”