Kimi Raikkonen has said that Alfa Romeo are in a strong position ahead of this weekend’s race at the Autodromo Internazionale Enzo e Dino Ferrari. The 2007 Formula 1 World Champion finished just outside the top 10 at the season opener in Bahrain and knows that he is likely to face plenty of competition once again within a tight midfield pack.
Alfa Romeo technical director Jan Monchaux confirmed ahead of Imola that the Swiss outfit would be bringing some new updates to the race, which will be a vastly differnt setup to the one used at Bahrain, before turning their attention to 2022, which could give the Hinwil-based team the chance to leapfrog a couple of their rivals in the short-term.
Looking ahead, Raikkonen was cautiously optimistic, but explained that the team knew very clearly that a potential top 10 finish would be hard fought and far from easy.
“We are confident we can be in the middle of the fight for points in Imola as well, but we are under no illusions it is going to be easy,”
Kimi emphasised that the team’s focus must not just be exclusively on Qualifying and the Race, that it must be focused across the entire weekend in order to get a positive result.
“We saw in Bahrain that even a good weekend doesn’t mean a top ten finish, so we know we have to keep pushing to improve everything we do from Thursday to Sunday: the difference between finishing just behind the top teams and outside of the top ten will be very small.
“Hopefully we can do our homework, have a good weekend and we get to be in that first group: we know what is in our control and what isn’t, so we just have to make sure we perform as we know we can.”
“We know we can be in the fight” – Antonio Giovinazzi
Antonio Giovinazzi has said that he has taken heart from the progress the team have made. The Italian, in the first of two Home Grand Prix this season, is looking to take advantage of this progress by opening his scoring for the season at Imola.
“What we saw in Bahrain gave us a big confidence boost and we are looking forward to seeing how competitive we can be at Imola,”
Much like Kimi, Giovinazzi is under no illusions that the midfield scrap is going to be a tough one, and Alfa Romeo will have to be strong throughout the weekend in order to ensure a points finish
“We know we can be in the fight, but we also know we need to deliver a flawless weekend to maximise our returns. The margins are very small in the midfield, especially in qualifying, and every little detail makes a difference.“
It’s extremely important to Antonio to have a strong performance on his home-soil, and he cannot get enough of being able to race in his homeland, with this being the fourth of five races in Italy in the last two seasons, the others taking place at Autodromo Nazionale Monza and the Autodromo Internazionale del Mugello.
“I would love to open my scoring tally at Imola, on home soil. Having three home races last season didn’t spoil me, it’s always a special feeling to race at home and this weekend will be no different.”
Alfa Romeo have looked anything but weak this season and will be hoping for their first points of the season this weekend