Alfa Romeo need to be ‘smart’ to make Q3

Henry Valantine
Kimi Raikkonen, Alfa Romeo

Kimi Raikkonen, Alfa Romeo

Both Kimi Raikkonen and Antonio Giovinazzi have said Alfa Romeo need to be clever with their positioning in qualifying to make their way into Q3.

The two Alfa drivers say their track position before setting a flying lap in qualifying will be crucial to their chances of making it into Q3 ahead of the Styrian Grand Prix on Sunday.

Giovinazzi lapped 0.733s behind Max Verstappen’s fastest time in FP2 on Friday and ranked P10, with the two drivers feeling like they are very much in the hunt to find their way into the final part of qualifying.

For Raikkonen, he knows every metre is crucial around the 4.3km Red Bull Ring circuit if he is going to progress this weekend.

“I was able to do a good job in the afternoon session and the car didn’t feel too bad: of course, you can always improve on it but that’s what we need to work for ahead of tomorrow,” Raikkonen said.

“Traffic is an issue around this short track and it made it quite tricky today: in qualifying, it will be important to pick the right time.

“We’ll see what the weather does tomorrow: in any case, especially on such a short lap, we’ll need to put all the corners together as every tiny mistake matters.”

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Giovinazzi echoed his World Champion team-mate’s thoughts, adding that he feels comfortable driving his car and hopes to be able to put themselves as high up the field as possible.

With the short layout decreasing the overall margins in lap times between the cars, the Italian says the team will have worked hard into the evening on Friday to make them as quick as possible come qualifying.

“I believe today has been a very positive Friday,” Giovinazzi told Sky Italia. “From the first lap in FP1 I felt at ease with the car, and this gives you an important advantage, to push and everything.

“So I’m happy with Friday, we know anyway that tomorrow it will not be as easy as today, so we have to keep pushing this evening, to try to find the last details, because we’re still all close.

“Then tomorrow the traffic will be important too, it’s a very short lap so finding the traffic will be easy, we must be smart to find ourselves in the right place on track.

“Today I’m happy with the balance of the car, with how Friday went. But tomorrow for sure I expect it will not be as easy as today.

“We have to keep working anyway, at least have the same film of today. And then put everything together tomorrow.”

Additional reporting by Luca Brambilla

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