Alfa duo look to build on ‘big confidence boost’

Henry Valantine
Alfa Romeo Kimi Raikkonen Antonio Giovinazzi

Alfa Romeo’s Kimi Raikkonen and Antonio Giovinazzi are confident they can be right in the mix for points at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix.

The Alfas came home P11 and P12 respectively at the season-opener in Bahrain, with Raikkonen finishing on the lead lap and the team showing signs of promise in the midfield battle for the 2021 calendar.

For Raikkonen in particular, he believes several teams are in the hunt for finishing in the top 10, but that it will be extremely close on a track where it is difficult to overtake.

The 2007 World Champion said: “We are confident we can be in the middle of the fight for points in Imola as well, but we are under no illusions that it will be easy.

“We saw in Bahrain that even a good weekend doesn’t mean a top-10 finish, so we know we have to keep pushing to improve everything we do from Thursday to Sunday – the difference between finishing just behind the top teams and outside of the top 10 will be very small.

“Hopefully we can do our homework, have a good weekend and we get to be in that first group. We know what is in our control and what isn’t, so we just have to make sure we perform as we know we can.”

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As for Giovinazzi, he has taken heart from the progress the team have made and is looking to take advantage by getting himself into the points come Sunday.

“What we saw in Bahrain gave us a big confidence boost and we are looking forward to seeing how competitive we can be at Imola,” the Italian said.

“We know we can be in the fight, but we also know we need to deliver a flawless weekend to maximise our returns. The margins are very small in the midfield, especially in qualifying, and every little detail makes a difference.

“I would love to open my scoring tally at Imola, on home soil. Having three home races last season didn’t spoil me, it’s always a special feeling to race at home and this weekend will be no different.”

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