Frédéric Vasseur says getting both cars into Q2 for the Portuguese Grand Prix had been the minimum target for Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN on Saturday, and they achieved that objective.
Antonio Giovinazzi was not far away from getting into Q3 in twelfth, while a few errors by Kimi Räikkönen left the veteran Finn down in fifteenth position.
Vasseur, the Team Principal of Alfa Romeo and the CEO of Sauber Motorsport AG, was full of praise for the team after they improved the car significantly between Friday and Saturday, which enabled both drivers to be able to get into Q2.
“Putting both cars in Q2 was the minimum objective for today, and we achieved it: to fight for a place in Q3 with Antonio shows how much of an improvement we made overnight, so big credit to the team for turning our single-lap performance around after a difficult Friday,” said Vasseur.
“Antonio felt really good and delivered two strong laps in Q2 to finish only a little more than a tenth away from the top ten; Kimi was on course to have a similarly good time on both his runs, but unfortunately couldn’t get the lap together.
“Still, to have two cars in a battle for a place in Q3 is a positive step.”
Vasseur says the team go into Sunday’s race at the Autódromo Internacional do Algarve confident of moving forward and fighting for their first points of the season.
“We start tomorrow with free choice of tyres and aiming to be in the battle for the points from lights to flag: our race pace looked promising yesterday and we need to translate it into a good result,” said Vasseur.