Antonio Giovinazzi was delighted to reach Q3 for a second consecutive race weekend, with the Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN driver securing tenth place on the grid for Saturday’s Sprint Qualifying race at the Autodromo Nazionale Monza.
The Italian was pleased with how he performed in both Q1 and Q2, finishing inside the top seven in both, but with only one set of new tyres for Q3, he knew he would be up against it to challenge for a top spot on the grid.
However, he will start inside the top ten on Saturday, and with a strong car beneath him, he is hopeful of making a good start and make a few positions to give him a better starting position for Sunday’s main Italian Grand Prix.
“I am very happy to have achieved Q3 in front of the Tifosi, it’s unbelievable,” said Giovinazzi. “We looked solid from the start, even in Q1 and Q2 we did good laps for sixth and seventh and we knew we could get a good result.
“We only had one fresh set of tyres for Q3, so we couldn’t make much progress there, but we’ll take P10. Even if this position is only for the grid of the Sprint Qualifying, it’s a good result and it allows us to start from a great position.
“We will need a good start tomorrow, on a race with no stops and no strategy, but we know we want to set us up well for Sunday. There will be some very aggressive drivers out there and we’ll need to make our opportunities count.”
“I am a bit disappointed about the qualifying result” – Robert Kubica
Team-mate Robert Kubica became the latest driver to get frustrated by Nikita Mazepin during the session, with the Polish racer finding the Uralkali Haas F1 Team driver in the middle of the road during his first run in Q1.
Kubica, standing in again this weekend for Kimi Räikkönen who was not cleared to compete after his positive COVID-19 test last weekend, was eliminated in Q1 for a second consecutive weekend, although he admitted having only one hour of practice prior to Qualifying was always going to hinder him as he has not been in the car that much during 2021.
However, losing a lap when Mazepin was not paying attention to the traffic behind him left him frustrated.
“It wasn’t the smoothest of days but tomorrow we can try and make up some ground,” said Kubica. “Practice wasn’t bad, but when you have only one hour to try three compounds and do long and shorter runs, it’s not easy to get a reference.
“I am a bit disappointed about the qualifying result as I believe we could have been a bit higher up the grid. Finding space on track wasn’t the easiest, and when I did, my first run was ruined by Mazepin, who was just in the middle of the track.
“At first I thought he had a technical issue, but then he sped away. It’s a bit of a shame, as in a short session you have to make every lap count, but that’s how it is.”