#SpaGP: Starting off on the right leg
2019 FIA Formula One Johnnie Walker Belgian Grand Prix – Practice – Friday
Weather: FP1: sunny, 19.1-21.8°C air, 27.6-34.3°C track; FP2: sunny, 23.5-25.2°C air, 38.7-40.4°C track
The first two practice sessions in Spa-Francorchamps have come and gone and now we can really say it – the holidays are well and truly over. It was a busy day here in the Ardennes, dusting off any remaining cobwebs as we returned to action after the summer break: all the boxes were ticked – good mileage, no issues, and some promising times to boot.
The big story, however, was not how good our Alfa Romeo Racing cars looked through Eau Rouge and Raidillon (a lot, in case you’re wondering), nor how close the whole of the midfield was (really close). No, the big story was all about Kimi’s left leg, and whether or not a small injury would allow him to race this weekend. The good news is: the leg (and its owner) are fine and ready for active duty. No injury can keep Kimi away from this track, especially as physio Mark remains on hand to knead away any lingering pain: and surely, no discomfort was visible during today’s sessions, with the man in car #7 finishing a handy seventh (we admire his numerical consistency) in FP2.
Let’s put any scare stories to bed then, and focus on a good performance that makes us look forward to the rest of the weekend. Kimi’s fit for racing, and his weekend has surely started off on the right leg.
Kimi Räikkönen (car number 7):
Alfa Romeo Racing C38 (Chassis 04/Ferrari)
1st practice: 13th / 1:47.024 (20 laps) / 2nd practice: 7th / 1:45.708 (25 laps)
“Thanks for asking about my leg: It’s okay. Beside this I’m not overly happy with today. The lap time is okay, but we have a lot of work to do with the set up of the car and I really believe, if we get the balance right we can improve tomorrow.”
Antonio Giovinazzi (car number 99):
Alfa Romeo Racing C38 (Chassis 01/Ferrari)
1st practice: 15th / 1:47.333 (22 laps) / 2nd practice: 16th / 1:46.328 (24 laps)
“It was difficult to put everything together today. The potential of the car is there but I feel we couldn’t unlock it to the fullest. However, tomorrow is when it matters. We have to focus on improving ahead of qualifying and do the best possible job in the rest of the weekend. Our aim remains to get a good spot on the grid.”