Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN gave a track debut to their 2021 C41-Ferrari last week, with test and reserve driver Robert Kubica given the chance to taste the car first.
Rather than split the filming day running between their race drivers as other teams have done ahead of the 2021 season, Kimi Räikkönen and Antonio Giovinazzi were forced to watch from the side-lines as one-time race winner Kubica ran twenty-nine laps around the short layout of the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.
The idea of the run was to get some installation runs in before the shortened pre-season testing programme later this month at the Bahrain International Circuit, with just three days of running planned before the start of the season at the same track at the end of March.
“It’s always a special moment to be the first to drive a new car,” reflected Kubica. “Today’s focus was on making sure everything worked as planned and to ensure all systems were functional, so performance was not an objective, but the thrill of driving a car like this isn’t diminished.
“The car felt good and I am looking forward to driving it once again later in the season.”
Frédéric Vasseur, the Team Principal of Alfa Romeo and the CEO of Sauber Motorsport AG, says the short test was an essential step in their preparations for the forthcoming season, and they will have at least some data to analyse ahead of the test in Bahrain.
“Today’s work is a crucial step in our preparations for the season and I’m pleased to report the day went as planned,” said Vasseur. “We were able to perform all the checks we set out to do and now we can focus on analysing these first bits of data and prepare for the next test in two weeks’ time.”