We have to keep working: Antonio Giovinazzi

Lyna Mohamad

Alfa Romeo’s Antonio Giovinazzi was faster than teammate Kimi Raikkonen during qualifying rounds for the third race in a row to continue his recent upsurge in form, but neither had the pace to challenge for points at the recent Formula One Japanese Grand Prix.

The team made one pit-stop for the hard tyres, but it was the wrong call as they couldn’t recover all the time lost despite switching back to soft.

“It was a disappointing end to the weekend as what they always want is to bring home a good result and in the end the car was pretty good on the last set of tyres,” said Raikkonen.

“We were running three, four seconds faster than earlier in the race, but unfortunately by then we had lost a lot of time and our afternoon was compromised. We couldn’t find a good balance in the first two stints on medium and hard tyres, they just wouldn’t work and I had no front end. We have to look at the data to understand what happened and figure out what to fix, so that we can consistently have the performance we had in the final part of the race,” said Raikkonen.

Giovinazzi believed the potential of the cars but admitted more work needs to be done.

“In the end it’s the same for everyone so we need to focus on our work. Our pace turned out to be better in qualifying than in the race in comparison with our rivals and we have to understand why. The potential of the car is there but we have to keep working to improve ahead of the final races and do the best possible job for the rest of the season.”

In the qualifying round, Raikkonen took 13th spot while Giovinazzi took 11th. On race day, Raikkonen finished 14th and Giovinazzi 16th.

Team Principal Alfa Romeo Racing Frédéric Vasseur said they targetted a top 10 finish but failed to fight for points after the opening laps.

“We showed a much better pace in the closing stages, on the soft tyres, so we will have to review what happened and analyse the data to ensure we can deliver the same level of performance throughout the race. We need to extract the best from our car at all times or the competitors will have the upper hand,” he said.

Kimi Raikkonen of Alfa Romeo drives during the Japanese Grand Prix. PHOTO: ALFA ROMEO