Raikkonen: Alfa Romeo need to be sharp to score

Michelle Foster
Kimi Raikkonen driving Alfa Romeo. Hungary July 2021

Kimi Raikkonen up close in his Alfa Romeo C41 in qualifying for the Hungarian Grand Prix. Hungary July 2021

Having criticised Alfa Romeo for their mistakes late in the first half of the season, Kimi Raikkonen has urged his team to be “sharp” as F1 returns at Spa.

With just two points on the board from 11 grands prix, Raikkonen’s frustrations with his team boiled over in the final two races before the summer break.

He told Alfa Romeo to “wake up and do something” after chances of scoring at the British Grand Prix ended in a spin. A spin that he says would not have happened if his C41 was “fast”.

Two weeks later he was again annoyed with the team, paying the price for an unsafe release during the Hungarian Grand Prix that led to a collision with Nikita Mazepin.

Raikkonen was penalised by the stewards, but managed to recover to score a solitary point to double his points-tally for the season.

The 41-year-old is hoping for better from Alfa Romeo when F1 hits the track this weekend for the Belgian Grand Prix.

“I am looking forward to racing again,” he said.

“Spa is the perfect place to come back, it’s a nice track where you get some good racing and Sundays can be unpredictable.

“The situation on track will be similar to before the summer, we need to be sharp and get the most out of our car and the circumstances and we can bring home a good result.”

Alfa Romeo driver Kimi Raikkonen putting on his helmet. Hungary August 2021.

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His team-mate Antonio Giovinazzi is also targetting a better second half of the campaign as he has managed just one point to date.

“I can’t wait to be back in the car,” said the Italian. “Spa is an epic track, one where you feel the driver can make a massive difference, and I want to start the second part of the season in the best possible way.

“We are motivated to set the tone right from the beginning of the run-up to the end of the year.”

Team boss Fred Vasseur insists Alfa Romeo still have “plenty of chances” to improve on their P9 in the Constructors’ Championship.

“The team returns to action with the determination to continue our work and bring home the results we deserve,” he said.

“The motivation levels are high, both for this season and the next one, and we know we have an opportunity to fight for the points at each track for the remainder of the year.

“We need to make sure we maximise all opportunities to add points to our tally and fight for a better position in the championship.

“There are plenty of chances to turn this around, starting with this triple-header, and we’re confident we can be in the mix already here in Belgium.”