A fighting chance for tomorrow
FIA Formula One Pirelli British Grand Prix 2020 – Qualifying – Saturday
Weather: FP3: overcast 19.9-21.6°C air, 30.1-35.7°C track; Q: clear, 22.3-22.5°C air, 38.4-40°C track
There are positives to be taken from today’s qualifying performance. What has been, so far this season, the team’s weakest spot has turned out to be our bogey once more, but there are signs of improvement, and a positive attitude is palpable throughout the squad as a result.
We may be contemplating another Q1 exit with both cars, as Antonio finished 17th, just ahead of Kimi in 18th; but the reality speaks of a toss-up over whether we could make it to Q2. Our gap to our direct rivals has shrunk – on a track we did anticipate being difficult for our package – and we climbed one grid row compared to the last race.
It’s still not what we want, of course: but, given the better pace we showed on Sundays so far, we can be hopeful in a battling display tomorrow. The objective remains the same – a place in the top ten; the tools at our disposal to achieve it, however, are giving us an extra chance. Baby steps it may be, but they’re in the right direction.
Frédéric Vasseur, Team Principal Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN and CEO Sauber Motorsport AG: “We are still far from where we want to be, but we are heading in the right direction. We are getting closer to a place in Q2 and we have to take this as motivation to progress further. Antonio’s and Kimi’s laps were as good as they could be, except for some traffic at the end of Kimi’s, and we can look positively at the small gap we had from the top 15. Our task now is to convert these starting positions into points: our race pace has been considerably better than what we have shown on Saturday, so we need to maximise the opportunities it will offer us to claim a place in the top ten.”
Kimi Räikkönen (car number 7):
Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN C39 (Chassis 02/Ferrari)
3rd practice: 19th / 1:27.976 (20 laps) Q: 18th / 1:27.366 (9 laps)
“The car has been stronger this weekend, I had a good feeling with it and the handling was good, but it’s obvious we are still missing something. I could have been a bit higher up on the grid but I got held up at the last corner, although in fairness the end result wouldn’t have been too different. We have things to work on as a team, we made an improvement but we need to keep going in this direction. Tomorrow’s race should be interesting: I expect us to be better and we should be fighting for a place in the top ten.”
Antonio Giovinazzi (car number 99):
Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN C39 (Chassis 04/Ferrari)
3rd practice: 17th / 1:27.825 (16 laps) Q: 17th / 1:27.164 (9 laps)
“We have made a few steps forward so we can be happy about this: there is still a lot of work to do, of course, but we are a bit closer to the others and we are moving in the right direction, which is giving us a lot of motivation. I am very happy with my lap, I feel it was as good as it could have been but it was just not enough for a place in Q2. As in the previous rounds, our race pace looks a bit better so I think we have a chance to battle for some points. We will try to have a good start, put up a good fight and we’ll see what happens.”