December 3rd, 2021

Good first time out on the Corniche

2021 FIA Formula One Saudi Arabian Grand Prix – Practice – Friday

Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN had a promising first day of action in the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix weekend, with the team’s drivers setting solid times in the first two practice sessions on the Jeddah Corniche Circuit. Antonio Giovinazzi was a strong fifth in the opening hour, while he and Kimi Räikkönen were side by side in 13th and 14th in FP2 when the session was cut short by a red flag.

After the first 120 minutes of practice, useful to accrue data and discover the latest addition to the Formula One calendar, the attention shifts to fine-tuning the setup ahead of tomorrow’s qualifying session.

Kimi Räikkönen (car number 7):

Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN C41 (Chassis 05/Ferrari)
FP1: 16th / 1:31.296 (26 laps)
FP2: 14th / 1:30.276 (24 laps)

“It was an interesting first day on this track. It’s a very fast circuit, lots of fast corners which means it will not be easy to overtake without a big speed differential. I say a lot of fast corners, but there’s a lot more of them on the map than what it feels in the car. Only about half of them are actual corners, most of them are flat out and may as well be straights! Sure enough, at least this circuit feels different from many others and it was quite ok to drive. Dealing with traffic in qualifying will be tricky, especially in the fast parts, but we’ll manage.”

Antonio Giovinazzi (car number 99):
Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN C41 (Chassis 02/Ferrari)
FP1: 5th / 1:30.318 (27 laps)
FP2: 13th / 1:30.110 (23 laps)

“I really hit the ground running with this track, I had a great feeling and I am really happy about the day. I was a bit worried that, coming from a Formula E test, I’d be struggling to regain the feeling with this car and the pace, but that wasn’t the case. The car felt great from the start in FP1 and we can build on this for tomorrow. I had a good feeling in the quali runs in FP2 and we can make another step forward tonight. The track is really fast and fun and we were surprised by the amount of grip. When you have good grip on a street track, it’s really enjoyable – but we need to be focused as any small mistake can cost you a lot. I am looking forward to qualifying tomorrow, hopefully it’s going to be a strong day for us.”