Booking our places on the final grid of the year
2021 FIA Formula One Abu Dhabi Grand Prix – Qualifying – Saturday
Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN had a car in Q2 in the final qualifying session of the year in Abu Dhabi. Antonio Giovinazzi was 14th, with team-mate Kimi Räikkönen in 18th as drivers battled on Yas Marina’s new layout: the Italian delivered a solid lap in Q1 to clear the first hurdle, before his attempt to improve in Q2 was foiled by traffic at the end of his warm-up lap. Kimi was on course to record a very strong lap and was two tenths better than then-fifth-placed Leclerc in the first two sectors, but an imperfection in the final part of the lap meant he couldn’t book a place in the top 15.
The result means our drivers will need to be in top shape tomorrow as they set off in chase of another points finish to bring the season to an end on a positive note.
Frédéric Vasseur, Team Principal Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN: “It’s very much a case of mixed feelings after today’s qualifying. Antonio probably achieved a result close to the maximum potential of the car, and broadly reflective of where we were throughout practice; Kimi, unfortunately, was setting a very fast time in his final run in Q1, probably the fifth or sixth fastest time, but all the advantage went in sector three. It’s disappointing as we could have had two cars solidly in Q2 on a day where there were very small margins. Still, we can take some comfort from a decent pace that should give us a fighting chance tomorrow. The objective remains the same, to finish the season on a high.”
Kimi Räikkönen (car number 7):
Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN C41 (Chassis 05/Ferrari)
FP3: 13th / 1:25.037 (23 laps)
Q1: 18th / 1:24.779 (8 laps)
“I was on a pretty good lap on my final run of Q1, the time looked good, but I got sideways in turn 13 and that was it. It’s a pity as the car felt nice. Tomorrow is another day, we start pretty far at the back but we will try to have as good a race as possible and bring home a good result.”
Antonio Giovinazzi (car number 99):
Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN C41 (Chassis 02/Ferrari)
FP3: 14th / 1:25.048 (18 laps)
Q1: 1:24.118 (9 laps)
Q2: 14th / 1:24.251 (8 laps)
“I think we achieved close to the maximum we could today: maybe P12 or P13 were possible, but Q3 was a step too far. I had a run on medium as I wanted to try them, but my final run on softs was spoiled by the traffic at the end of the outlap: my tyres and my brakes were too cold in sector one and we couldn’t improve. It’s been a bit like this all season with the traffic, but it is what it is. We can still have a good race from 14th, with a good first lap and a good strategy to see what we can achieve from there. I want to enjoy this final race of the season and have a good result to say goodbye to the team.”