It was a first-ever Qualifying at the Qatar Grand Prix to forget for the Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN team, with both drivers failing to make it out of Qualifying One. Kimi Räikkönen will start sixteenth with Antonio Giovinazzi in eighteenth at the Losail International Circuit.
Räikkönen qualified the better out of the two Alfa Romeo’s in what was the only positive to take away from a disappointing qualifying. Williams Racing’s George Russell starts ahead of both Alfas, a big problem for the team whom are fighting Williams for eighth in the Constructors’ standings.
Räikkönen ended qualifying satisfied with his performance and isn’t too sure where the problems with the car lies, he expects an interesting race on Sunday.
“We did the best we could out there: it was not a bad lap and surely there wasn’t anything specific we could point our finger at. The car wasn’t bad in terms of balance, we were just not fast enough and the lap time reflected that. The track was the best it has been all weekend, and it is going to be interesting to see how the racing shapes up tomorrow.
“Starting that far back is not ideal, but it’s what we got and we’ll try to improve. Overtaking won’t be easy, but that’s pretty much the same everywhere we go so let’s see what we get out of this.”
“The track evolved a lot today” – Antonio Giovinazzi
Antonio Giovinazzi’s Saturday certainly didn’t go as planned, the Italian qualified a dismal eighteenth, ahead of only both Uralkali Haas F1 Team cars. Like his-team though Giovinazzi was pretty happy with how the car felt.
He is aware that overtaking looks set to be very difficult during the race on Sunday but that anything is possible.
“The feeling with the car in qualifying was the best it has been all weekend, but that was not enough for a place in Q2. It’s not been the easiest experience out there, we seemed to be struggling in practice as well, but I still hoped in a better result. We’re starting at the back instead, on a track where following and overtaking are not the easiest.
“It’s not going to be an easy race, but never say never: we will give our best and see if we can get a good result tomorrow. The track evolved a lot today and, if it makes another step, it could mean different strategies come into play. Lap one on a new track could also spring some surprises, so let’s see if we can make progress there too.”