Formula 1

Kimi Räikkönen: “It is clear we have made a step forward compared to last year”

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Credit: Frédéric Le Floc’h / DPPI

The Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN team missed out on points in Sunday’s Bahrain Grand Prix, with Kimi Räikkönen and Antonio Giovinazzi ending eleventh and twelfth respectively.

Compared to their performances during 2020, the race at the Bahrain International Circuit was a positive one for Alfa Romeo, with Räikkönen close to scoring points first time out in a race where reliability was particularly good, especially for the first race of a new season.

Räikkönen admits to being disappointed to go home empty handed having spent significant time inside the top ten during the race on Sunday evening.

“It wasn’t a bad race, we had some good fights and the car behaved nicely, but it’s disappointing not to bring home points when we were in the top ten nearly all night,” said Räikkönen.  “Had the race been a few laps longer, we probably would have been able to catch the cars in front but we will keep trying.

“The car felt good, as it did in testing, so it is clear we have made a step forward compared to last year: we still have a bit to work to close the gap with the top five teams, but we keep fighting to find that little bit extra.”

“We are much faster and have a much better car” – Antonio Giovinazzi

Team-mate Giovinazzi says they can be happy to be much faster compared to last season, although it wasn’t enough for him to finish inside the points. 

The Italian was running ahead of Räikkönen in the early laps but fell behind him after a slow first pit stop, but he feels the C41-Ferrari offers them hope they can make the step forward and be involved in the battle for points throughout 2021.

“Compared to the start of last season, we are much faster and have a much better car so we can be happy about the step forward we have made,” said Giovinazzi.  “It wasn’t enough to bring home points today, but we are very close to the top ten and we can consistently fight for the points.

“My race was good, I think I got everything I could out of the car, but of course we lost time at the first pit-stop. In the end, mistakes do happen and we have to learn from them and make sure we don’t do them again next time; without the issue, I would have probably been close to where Kimi ended.

“Now my focus is on Imola, racing again in my home country and hopefully achieving a good result to make the Tifosi at home happy.”

Antonio Giovinazzi finished twelfth on Sunday – Credit: Frédéric Le Floc’h / DPPI
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