Antonio Giovinazzi was pleased with his Friday at the Red Bull Ring, with the Italian placing his Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN C41-Ferrari into the top ten in both free practice sessions.
Giovinazzi, who scored his first points finish of his Formula 1 career in Austria back in 2019, showed good speed in both sessions as he started the weekend on the front foot, with ninth place in the morning being followed by tenth in the afternoon.
The Italian knows the difficult work is yet to come and the team will need to make a step forward in order to be a contender for Q3 in Qualifying on Saturday afternoon.
“It was a good Friday today, the car balance felt good from the first laps in FP1 so we have a good base to build on,” said Giovinazzi.
“We are happy with the day but we also know that tomorrow will be more difficult: we need to keep working tonight, find some speed in a few little details and hopefully have the same positive feeling when we head out in FP3.
“Putting a lap together here is a challenge, traffic and track limits will be key topics in qualifying: but if we get everything done, we can have a good Saturday too.”
“Traffic is an issue around this short track “ – Kimi Räikkönen
Team-mate Kimi Räikkönen only had one session in the car as he sat out the first session to allow test driver Robert Kubica some time in the car, and the Finn ended fourteenth fastest in the afternoon.
The Finn says there is work to do ahead of Saturday to improve his feeling behind the wheel of the C41-Ferrari, and he knows he will also need to be mistake-free with how close the field are around the short Red Bull Ring lap.
“I was able to do a good job in the afternoon session and the car didn’t feel too bad: of course, you can always improve on it but that’s what we need to work for ahead of tomorrow,” said Räikkönen.
“Traffic is an issue around this short track and it made it quite tricky today: in qualifying, it will be important to pick the right time. We’ll see what the weather does tomorrow: in any case, especially on such a short lap, we’ll need to put all the corners together as every tiny mistake matters.”
“It’s always great to be back in an F1 car” – Robert Kubica
Kubica was delighted to be back behind the wheel of a Formula 1 car for the first time since he took to the track at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya back at the beginning of May.
The Polish driver did not have the smoothest start to the day as he spun at turn three, but he was able to keep going and complete thirty laps and finish nineteenth fastest.
“It’s always great to be back in an F1 car, although today hasn’t been the smoothest day,” said Kubica. “I’ve been racing in other categories since I last drove the C41 in Barcelona and it’s not easy to get a feeling when you only have a couple of laps to get up to speed.
“Still, I enjoyed the opportunity and hopefully brought the team some useful data. It’s hard to compare how much the car has moved forward since I last drove it, as we are always testing different things in varying conditions, but the general feeling is positive: the team has been doing well lately and you can feel the confidence building.
“We know we can be in the fight if we do a good job, so we have to make the most of our package and of any opportunities.”