Antonio Giovinazzi felt positive about his Friday at the Sochi Autodrom, even if the Italian ended his afternoon session without a rear wing after crashing into the barriers on the exit of turn eight.
The Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN driver, coming into the Russian Grand Prix weekend on the back of two excellent Qualifying displays in the Dutch and Italian Grand Prix, was thirteenth in the morning session on Friday, while his best time prior to his crash in the afternoon left him fourteenth.
Giovinazzi admitted he lost control of his C41-Ferrari after being caught out by the wind and some oversteer exiting turn eight, with the combination seeing him spin into the barriers and causing a lot of damage to the rear of the car.
“The sessions were going pretty well until the incident,” said Giovinazzi. “FP1 wasn’t too bad and FP2 was an improvement, overall a good start of the weekend.
“The wind was rather strong, I got a bit of understeer outside the corner, touched the astroturf on the exit and lost the rear. Tomorrow is another day, we need to see what the weather is going to be like and continue our work.”
“When it really matters is tomorrow and Sunday” – Kimi Räikkönen
Team-mate Kimi Räikkönen was back in the car for the first time since free practice in The Netherlands after his positive COVID-19 test, and the Finn says he felt fine throughout the day.
Räikkönen had a smooth day in the second C41, ending fifteenth fastest in the morning before improving to twelfth in the afternoon. However, he knows the important running is still to come, and he is hopeful Alfa Romeo can be competitive against their rivals when it matters on Saturday and Sunday.
“It was an ok day to get back to the car,” said Räikkönen. “It didn’t feel much different than any other times, and the job we did wasn’t too bad.
“Things ran smoothly, the conditions were ok so we were able to do our work. First impressions are ok but when it really matters is tomorrow and Sunday. The feeling with the car is ok, but we’ll need to see what happens in qualifying to see where we stack up against the others.”