Frédéric Vasseur felt Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN showed once more that they are in the fight for places inside the top ten in 2021, although the result of the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix was not what they were hoping for.
Kimi Räikkönen had finished inside the top ten in ninth, but the Finn’s joy was short-lived as he was handed a harsh-looking penalty post-race that relegated him to thirteenth. His spin behind the safety car saw him drop two positions, but his failure to go into the pits for the restart saw him penalised with a thirty-second time penalty.
Antonio Giovinazzi had been running with Räikkönen for much of the day and should have had a top ten finish of his own, only for the Italian to pit with debris lodged in his brake duct. The pit stop ended his chance of points, with Giovinazzi ending down in fourteenth at the chequered flag.
Vasseur, the Team Principal of Alfa Romeo and the CEO of Sauber Motorsport AG, says the team were on course for a ‘very positive’ result at Imola, only for circumstances to work against them and leave them emptyhanded.
“Once again we demonstrated we have a car that can fight for points on a Sunday, even though we are left to rue not bringing home what would have been a very positive result,” said Vasseur. “The conditions weren’t easy and we did a good job as a team to be in the fight.
“Kimi needed all his experience to keep his rivals behind at the end of the race, while it was obviously very disappointing that a technical problem got Antonio out of a very good position when we were looking at having two cars in the top ten.
“This issue, and the penalty that took away our two points, aside, today’s result gives us confidence for the next races, although it was another reminder of how small the margins are in the midfield and how we have to keep improving to keep ahead of the nearest rivals.”