The Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN Formula One Team made a step forward in the Belgian Grand Prix 9n Sunday after Kimi Raikkonen came from 16th to finish the race in 12th.
Speaking following the race, Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN Team Principal and Sauber Motorsports AG CEO Frédéric Vasseur said:
It was a race of two halves, unfortunately, but we showed some more competitiveness compared to previous rounds. Kimi lost some ground at the start but was able to make it back into 15th within a few laps, whereas Antonio had a really good launch and was putting pressure on Vettel’s Ferrari. His race ended at lap nine, but both drivers were able to keep their rivals honest with some decent pace. Kimi had a strong race and ran in the points after the pit stops: unfortunately, we seemed to be quicker on the twisty part of the track, where overtaking is not that easy, and he couldn’t make his way past Kvyat. In the end, P12 is the most we could have done today and, while points remain elusive, we can take a bit of encouragement from our performance.”
Kimi Raikkonen commented saying:
I feel the result today is as good as it could have been. The car felt good but P12 is the most we could get, and that gives you no points: it’s disappointing as we really gave everything we had. The start was bad, the car went into antistall at turn one and it put me at the very back. After that we had good speed but sadly not enough to make it into the top ten. I got stuck behind Kvyat, I felt I was quicker than him in the middle sector but couldn’t get a run on him where I could try a pass. We’ll try to make more progress in Monza.
Antonio Giovinazzi was forced to retire from the race and speaking following the action he said:
A disappointing ending to my race: I was pushing a lot to keep within DRS range of Sebastian [Vettel] and the car just snapped on the exit. I was on the limit and when you’re there, sometimes mistakes can happen. I feel sorry for the team as they deserved a good result this weekend, and of course also for George [Russell] as his race was compromised as well, although I couldn’t do anything about that. There are still some positives I can take from this race: I had another really good start, I made up a few places and I was able to be in a fight with the Ferraris, so we can build on that. Next race up is my home race in Italy, I’ll need to reset and be in a better shape for next weekend