September 27th, 2020

So(chi) close to the target

2020 FIA Formula One Russian Grand Prix – Race – Sunday
Weather: sunny, 30.2-28.3°C air, 40.9-38.2°C track

They fought. From start to finish, Antonio and Kimi produced a combative performance, squeezing the most they could from their C39s. It was a valiant race for both, and the final result doesn’t tell the full story of a Sunday spent recovering from yesterday’s problems.

We have made good, visible progress: fighting in the midfield, within or just at the edge of the top ten, is now where we expect to be. We are fighting different rivals, holding our own against cars we wouldn’t have fought with two months ago.

Nothing in Formula One stands still, and our work need to continue to build on these improvements, to gain that little edge that means points are added to our tally on a regular basis. But we’re getting there.

Today’s race, started from the back after a difficult Saturday, showed two drivers at ease with their cars, able to push and bring the fight to their rivals for the positions that matter. We may leave Sochi without having added to our points totals; an equally important gain, however, is the one in our confidence.


Frédéric Vasseur, Team Principal Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN and CEO Sauber Motorsport AG:
“We had good speed today and both cars made considerable progress from our grid positions, so we can say that we got as much as we could out of today’s race. Yesterday’s difficult qualifying, where we didn’t get everything our speed would have warranted, always meant we would have our work cut out today, but to make up ground and leave behind several of our rivals shows we have found the performance we lacked earlier in the season. We need to keep moving in this direction to continue closing the gap within the midfield and keep fighting for top ten finishes.”


Kimi Räikkönen (car number 7):
Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN C39 (Chassis 05/Ferrari)
Race result: 14th
Fastest lap: 1:38.858
Tyres: New Hard (35 laps) – New Medium (17 laps)

“The car was behaving well and we had good speed, but Sochi is a difficult place to pass and we couldn’t climb up into the points. Considering where we started the race, we probably got all we could from the race: even the slow stop didn’t change the end result too much. Antonio in P11 was just a few seconds ahead of me and I could have probably been around there, but in the end P10 was too far ahead. We showed we have speed during the race and that’s a positive for the next rounds.”


Antonio Giovinazzi (car number 99):

Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN C39 (Chassis 04/Ferrari)
Race result: 11th
Fastest lap: 1:39.766
Tyres: New Medium (16 laps) – New Hard (36 laps)

“It was a positive race in which we achieved the maximum we could, especially starting from 17th. The start was really good, we once again made up a good few places, and I felt I could push and fight the cars around me. I was happy with our pace and for sure we closed the gap a bit more, so we need to continue like this. It’s always frustrating to finish just one place outside the points, but I am still happy with today’s result and with the confidence it gives us going forward.”