September 26th, 2020

Falling short of what we were capable of

2020 FIA Formula One Russian Grand Prix – Qualifying – Saturday
Weather: FP3: overcast 26.5-27.1°C air, 37.0-40.6°C track; Q: overcast, 26.4-25.8°C air, 34.4-31.7°C track

There are two different ways to be disappointed. There’s the hopeless kind, when you know you’re faced with a task beyond your means: the one that leaves you dejected, looking for a way out of trouble that you suspect is not there. And there’s the other kind, the one you feel when you miss out on an objective you feel was within your reach: this one leaves you angry, but also with the knowledge that you’ve got the means to make it right, to fight another day and achieve a different outcome.

Today it is this second kind of disappointment that we feel: having made strides with the car, we felt Q2 was within reach. Circumstances played out differently, however, and by the chequered flag we had fallen short. It was an issue of execution, not preparation: which means it’s something we can look forward to fixing.

The outcome might have been the same, but the heads are held high in the garage: we have made progress, and while earlier this season we’d have meekly suffered a Q1 exit with no response, we now have the will and the means to fight back. On another day, in other circumstances, the result would have been different.

Starting in P17 and P20 will make our Russian Grand Prix a challenge. But we know we can move up. The fightback is on, starting tomorrow.


Frédéric Vasseur, Team Principal Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN and CEO Sauber Motorsport AG: “Having a car that could make it to Q2 is a step forward compared to where we were just a few weeks ago, but on this occasion, we were not able to make our improved performance count. We knew from practice that the gaps would be minimal and this has proven to be the case: unfortunately the execution let us down today and we missed out on a slot in the top 15 by less than half a second. We will have our work cut out tomorrow, but with the race pace we showed yesterday and a clean Sunday we can hope to make up some ground.”

Kimi Räikkönen (car number 7):
Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN C39 (Chassis 05/Ferrari)
3rd practice: 18th / 1:35.599 (15 laps) / Q1: 20th / 1:35.267 (5 laps)

“We have been reasonably happy with the car so far this weekend and we thought we’d be pretty good in qualifying, but things didn’t work out for us. There’s not much to say, I spun at turn two in my fast lap and that was it. The tyres were probably a bit on the cold side at the start of the lap, I locked the front wheel, hit the kerb and then there was nothing I could do, simple as that. We had the car to go to Q2 but if you don’t put a lap on the board, you start at the back. Tomorrow will be a big challenge but we’ll see what we can do to recover.”

Antonio Giovinazzi (car number 99):

Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN C39 (Chassis 04/Ferrari)
3rd practice: 17th / 1:35.590 (15 laps) / Q: 17th / 1:34.594 (6 laps)

“We made some good progress but in the end we were still a little short of making it into Q2 today. The track changed a lot from FP3 but we made an improvement in every run and I would have probably been a place higher without having to lift a little at turn two on my final run. We seem to have good pace so we are not out of the battle for points yet. We need to make a good start, as we have done recently, gain a few places in the opening laps and then we are in the fight for a good result: our objective doesn’t change because of today.”