Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN’s Kimi Raikkonen says it feels a bit weird to going back to racing under the current circumstances. Formula One will get their 2020 season underway this weekend in Austria behind closed doors at the Red Bull Ring with the Austrian Grand Prix.
The season had originally been due to start in March in Australia but was postponed on the eve of the first race due to COVID 19.
Speaking ahead of the first race, Raikkonen said:
It will feel a bit weird to get back to racing in these conditions, but I am sure that once we are in the car we will not focus on the restrictions but just on doing the best job we can. The break was a chance to spend time with my family but now we have to focus on the job. With so many races in so little time, we need to make the most of every event and score points every time we get the chance. It’s hard to tell where everyone stands, but we will find out soon enough.”
Antonio Giovinazzi returns as Kimi Raikkonen’s team mate for 2020 with the Italian having taken part in the Formula One virtual Grand Prix series during lockdown.
Speaking ahead of the race in Austria this weekend he said:
We return to action this week and I cannot wait to be in the car. It has been a very sombre few months for everyone, and with my family and so many friends back home in Italy, I was particularly touched by it. To go back to racing feels like another step towards some sort of normality. I am curious to see how everyone does in Austria and to see what happens with two races in the same venue; it’s a first for Formula One so it will be something we will need to adapt to. As for being rusty after so many months away, I am not worried about that: I didn’t race for two years between 2017 and 2019, so, if anything, I will try to turn that into an advantage.”
This weekend’s race in Austria forms part of a doubleheader as next weekend Formula One returns to the Red Bull Ring for the Steiermark Grand Prix and speaking ahead of the race Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN Team Principal and CEO of Sauber Motorsport AG Frederic Vasseur commented saying:
“It has been so long since the last race in Abu Dhabi, so obviously we are eager to go back to racing: this is what drives us on and what we have been working for all season. Of course, the situation will be different, given the restrictions forced on us by the pandemic: but we are confident in the measures the FIA and Formula One have taken to keep us all safe. The first race of the season is often a chaotic affair and that’s when opportunities arise: we will need to be ready to take any that come our way. Racing again here in a week’s time will be a new experience for all of us, but we expect the midfield battle to be so close to make both races really open and unpredictable.”