Alfa stress ‘importance’ of finishing eighth

Jon Wilde
Kimi Raikkonen (Alfa Romeo) alongside Romain Grosjean (Haas)

Frederic Vasseur has insisted finishing ahead of Haas and Williams in the World Championship is still “important” for Alfa Romeo.

Even though eighth position in the constructors’ standings is not where they want to be.

The three teams that have regularly been at the back of the grid this season are tailed off in the points list, with eighth-placed Alfa Romeo being 81 behind AlphaTauri who are immediately ahead of them.

But while the status of being top of the also-rans is definitely not something Alfa Romeo aspire to, their team principal Vasseur is still keen to fend off Haas and Williams over the final four races of the season for the financial rewards it would bring.

Formula 1 confirmed earlier this year that despite the global health pandemic reducing the calendar to 17 races, 100% of the prize money would still be paid out on a sliding scale from Mercedes in first position down to 10th.

“Eighth place is important,” said Vasseur during an interview with Auto Motor und Sport. “We are racers and want to beat our direct opponents.

“This attitude and this motivation are the key to the future. We must never give up. There is also a lot more money in the future for eighth place [under the terms of the new Concorde Agreement].

“That’s why you always have to lead your group so that you are there when there are points [available]. There is no point in being ahead six times and rewarding you with 13th place, and then when it comes down to it you just watch.”

Kimi Raikkonen Fred Vasseur
Very little changed for Kimi Raikkonen in COVID-affected 2020 season.

Vasseur, meanwhile, denied that Ferrari, who provide Alfa Romeo with their engines, have a definitive say on who will drive for his team.

Speculation has suggested that Ferrari, to an extent, control who will drive one of the Alfa Romeo and Haas cars because of supplying their engines.

Ferrari Academy driver Mick Schumacher is likely to join Haas for next year having previously been linked with Alfa Romeo.

Instead, the Swiss-based team, previously known as Sauber, will keep faith with Kimi Raikkonen and Antonio Giovinazzi, who also has close links with Ferrari, for a third consecutive campaign.

Vasseur said: “We have a good working relationship with Ferrari. Therefore, the driver issue is a shared decision. Nothing is pressed on us.

“We have an open discussion with Ferrari and the drivers. The driver has to fit in with the team and feel comfortable here.”

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