Baku ‘masked the real pace’ of Alfa Romeo’s C41

Henry Valantine
Kimi Raikkonen, Alfa Romeo

Overtaking still "surprisingly difficult" in Baku says Kimi Raikkonen.

Alfa Romeo team principal Frederic Vasseur believes there’s more to come from his team this season, with interrupted qualifying sessions “masking” the car’s true pace.

Drivers Kimi Raikkonen and Antonio Giovinazzi earned a P10 finish apiece in each of the last two races, getting the Hinwil-based team off the mark in the Constructors’ Championship this year.

The team has been pulling themselves closer to the congested midfield battle, and with the French Grand Prix being the first of a triple-header of races, the team principal hopes to be able to utilise the car’s full capacity around Le Castellet.

Vasseur said previously that he feels the team has made a significant step forward this year, and two points finishes are proof of that.

“We travel to France with the determination to continue our points-scoring streak for a third race in a row,” Vasseur said.

“We have finally started to see the results coming from all our good work and we know there is a lot more potential to come from the team, but we also know that putting together an issue-free weekend is crucial to achieve these objectives.

“The disrupted qualifying and eventful race in Baku somewhat masked the real pace of our car: hopefully France is where we really show all we can do.”

Kimi Raikkonen, Alfa Romeo
Kimi Raikkonen, Alfa Romeo

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2007 World Champion Raikkonen is still hoping to improve on his and the car’s performance, and knows the margins are fine if the team are to add to their tally in the upcoming race.

“Scoring a point last time out was obviously positive but there is still more that we want from ourselves and the car,” said the Finn.

“It’s not going to be much different when we get to France: the midfield is going to be very close and it’s going to be a matter of getting everything right from Friday to Sunday.

“The gaps are so small and so is the difference between finishing in the top ten and just outside of it.”

Raikkonen’s team-mate Giovinazzi says he is excited to be racing in the south of France at the weekend, hoping to capitalise on the team’s recent upgrades that they’ve brought to the car.

“I can’t wait to be on track in France,” said the Italian.

“We know we have made some big improvements and all we need is a regular weekend to be able to display just what we can do: the track at Paul Ricard should allow us to have just one of those.

“It’s the first race of three in a row, which means we will go through an intense month of racing: scoring points will be a matter of being the sharpest of all in the midfield, not just the quickest. I am confident we can bring home a good result.”

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