May 7th, 2021

Putting in the miles on familiar ground

2021 FIA Formula One Spanish Grand Prix – Practice – Friday

Few circuits hold as few secrets as Barcelona: the habitual venue of winter testing and a circuit that featured in the calendar, albeit with a few layout changes, since 1991, it is probably the most familiar venue for anyone who has ever driven a Formula One car in anger.

Still, practice is important to fine tune the cars’ set-up to respond to this year’s tyres, vehicles and the reprofiled turns 10 and 11, so today we set off to tick off all boxes in our to-do list. Robert Kubica took over Kimi Räikkönen’s car for the morning session, doing a fine job until a spin brought his day to a premature end, while the Finn returned to the cockpit alongside Antonio Giovinazzi for the afternoon. The day produced a good return of laps and the demonstration, as if any was needed after three rounds of racing, that the midfield fight will once again be tight.

In such a competitive scenario, extracting every ounce of performance from the car will be crucial and that’s exactly what we will set out to do tonight, when our engineers will crunch the data the drivers produced. More of the same – not an unusual thing to be confronted with when here in Barcelona…


Kimi Räikkönen (car number 7):
Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN C41 (Chassis 04/Ferrari)
FP1: Did not take part
FP2: 16th / 1:19.213 (30 laps)

“I was able to do a good number of laps in the afternoon, which is always positive. I know the track really well and there is effectively only one new corner to learn. The car didn’t feel too bad so we can be optimistic ahead of the rest of the weekend. We have work to do tonight, but so does everyone and we will see tomorrow where we end up in qualifying.”

Antonio Giovinazzi (car number 99):
Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN C41 (Chassis 03/Ferrari)
FP1: 13th / 1:19.964 (23 laps)
FP2: 13th / 1:19.122 (29 laps)

“All in all, it was a positive day in which we showed to be really close to the top ten. We need to find something more while looking at the data tonight, but we know qualifying will be decided by the smallest of margins. The track layout has improved, I like the new turn ten: I think it’s much better than the previous configuration. It remains a difficult corner and one that can make the difference on the single lap.”

Robert Kubica (car number 88):
Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN C41 (Chassis 04/Ferrari)
FP1: 19th / 1:21.887 (13 laps)
FP2: Did not take part

“It was nice to be back in the car in an official session and I’m sorry about finishing the session like this. It was a very small mistake but we paid a high price: I misjudged the grip levels on my first run on soft tyres, spun mid-corner and got stuck in the gravel trap. It still was good to get back the feeling with this car, especially ahead of next week’s test: I am looking forward to trying the new 18-inch tyres and helping the team in making this important step. It will be an interesting session!”