Kimi Räikkönen returns to the scene of his World Championship triumph back in 2007 for the final time this weekend, with the Finn aiming for more points at the Autódromo José Carlos Pace.
The Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN driver will retire from Formula 1 at the end of the season but showed he is still more than capable behind the wheel in the Mexico City Grand Prix, with Räikkönen equalling his best finish of the season in eighth place.
Back in 2007, Räikkönen won the race whilst racing for Scuderia Ferrari and was able to beat both Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton to the Drivers’ Championship as a result, with the Autódromo José Carlos Pace holding happy memories for the Finnish veteran.
“I was pleased with our performance in Mexico and I hope we can be on a similar level in Interlagos,” said Räikkönen. “Last week’s race was not that eventful for me, but we got points so I am happy with the outcome: in the end, the result was good so I don’t care if I was on my own for most of the afternoon.
“Interlagos is a place that holds some very good memories for me: it’s where I won the world championship in 2007 so to race here one last time is going to be nice.
“Of course, once I am in the car I don’t think about these things, but it’s nice to be back here after missing out when the race was cancelled last year.”
“I am determined to bring home the points this weekend” – Antonio Giovinazzi
Team-mate Antonio Giovinazzi also has happy memories of the Interlagos track, with the Italian taking his career best finish of fifth at the track the last time Formula 1 raced there back in 2019.
Alfa Romeo enjoyed a good day at the track two years ago, and after being close to the points on a number of occasions in recent races, Giovinazzi is hoping to break into the top ten for the first time since the Monaco Grand Prix this weekend.
Giovinazzi’s position at the team for 2022 remains under threat, but despite the rumours he is set to be replaced by either Guanyu Zhou or Oscar Piastri next year, he is still aiming to fight for every point on offer.
“Some races are good, some are bad but I try to look at the positives: we showed good pace as a team in Mexico and I am confident it will be the same here,” said Giovinazzi. “We have been fighting for the top ten in every race lately and I am determined to bring home the points this weekend.
“Brazil is where I had my best ever result, in 2019, and it’d be nice to add another good race to this record: what I can guarantee is that I will keep giving everything I have in every race, every lap, every corner.”