Steps forward on a Budapest Sunday
FIA Formula One Magyar Nagydíj 2020 – Race – Sunday
Weather: overcast, 21.6-20.9°C air, 28-29.2°C track
Rain, thunder and lightning: all these things that could have happened this afternoon… didn’t. In the end, the Hungarian Grand Prix was a slightly more sedate affair than what could have been expected just a few hours before the start, when the skies had opened.
With a race track rapidly drying, and staying so, the odds were always going to be stacked against us: starting in P19 and P20, no amount of good pace would have been enough to salvage a good result without a hefty dose of mayhem. The predicted chaos did not materialise and, despite a good team performance, P15 for Kimi and P17 for Antonio was all we had to show by the chequered flag.
And yet, despite leaving Budapest with no points, there are positives to be taken. Once again, the pace we displayed once the lights went out was not to be sniffed at. On pace alone, we kept behind teams far ahead of us on the grid, challenging for the top ten until a penalty put pay to our hopes of points. Had we started in a better position, we would have been looking at a different result.
The road ahead is clear: the team knows what to do and now we have the time to work on it. The two weeks to Silverstone will be crucial to harness the potential of the C39 and make sure we are in a position to fight for points. The game is on and we’re ready to play.
Frédéric Vasseur, Team Principal Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN and CEO Sauber Motorsport AG: “The end result is disappointing, but looking at the data it is very clear the car was more competitive than our finishing positions would suggest. We had the pace to challenge our direct rivals and some quicker cars, but starting from the back we were always going to be at a disadvantage. Both cars had good pace and we could have brought home a point or two with a bit more luck, but Kimi’s penalty and Antonio suffering on the soft tyres meant we weren’t able to make up the deficit. With a better qualifying yesterday, we would have been in the thick of the fight for points.”
Kimi Räikkönen (car number 7):
Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN C39 (Chassis 02/Ferrari)
Race result: 16th
Fastest lap: 1:20.232
Tyres: New Intermediate (3 laps) – New Medium (30 laps) – New Hard (36)
“It wasn’t a very busy race for me. Unfortunately, starting where we did meant we had a very difficult job ahead of us: we did what we could but it wasn’t enough for points. Our pace wasn’t too bad, I made up a few places at the start but the penalty put me back at the bottom. The grid was a bit slippery, I went a bit too long into the box and I didn’t have the time to reverse; we could have been a few more places up so it’s a bit of a shame. We have a lot of work to do to improve our qualifying, but we can be positive about our performance on Sundays.”
Antonio Giovinazzi (car number 99):
Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN C39 (Chassis 04/Ferrari)
Race result: 17th
Fastest lap: 1:20.096
Tyres: New Intermediate (4 laps) – New Soft (15 laps) – New Medium (19 laps) – New Hard (29)
“It was always going to be difficult to make up ground after yesterday’s qualifying, but at least we can be satisfied with the pace we had towards the end of the race. My start was ok but at my first stop we switched to soft tyres that turned out to be far from the best compound today. That cost me a lot of time and by the time we switched to hards, which were a lot better, it was too late to recover many positions. The one-week break before Silverstone will be very important for us to understand a little more about what happened in the last few weeks. We must work really hard to improve our car and be in better shape for the next triple header.”