Kimi knew Alfa were struggling from pre-season

Date published: December 22 2020 - Jamie Woodhouse

Kimi-Raikkonen-PA

Kimi Raikkonen has said it was “quite clear” Alfa Romeo were not where they wanted to be as early as in pre-season testing.

After a strong start under the Alfa Romeo banner, the team started to tail off somewhat in the latter stages of the 2019 campaign and it is safe to say things got no better in 2020.

Ultimately, the Swiss-based team would finish the 2020 campaign P8 in the Constructors’ Championship with only eight points to their name.

Raikkonen’s tally of four points, identical to team-mate Antonio Giovinazzi’s total, was the lowest points-scoring season of Raikkonen’s Formula 1 career, which began in 2001 with the same team  when they were known as Sauber.

And Raikkonen feared his team were not where they wanted to be in pre-season testing.

“For sure it’s not what we expected before the season started, or wanted,” said Raikkonen, quoted by Motorsportweek.com.

“I think it became quite clear after testing that we were not where we wanted to be, but there’s obviously many reasons why we are not as fast as we were. But from that side, it’s obviously disappointing.

“Obviously a lot of work has to be done for next year so we are in a better position.

“I think last year we did, let’s say, a pretty decent job even if later in the year we were definitively not where we wanted to be.

“Obviously hopes were higher, but quite soon obvious for all of us that we weren’t going to be where we liked to be.

“We just have to work and try to do a better job next year. But that’s how it goes, some years are more tricky for many reasons and obviously in this sport the car makes a huge difference.

“Good or bad, I think every year you have disappointing results, good results and some results in the middle. It’s the name of the game.”

At the 2020 Portuguese Grand Prix Raikkonen officially became the most experienced driver in Formula 1 history in terms of race starts, taking the record from Rubens Barrichello.

The Finn has 329 starts to his name heading into the 2021 season.

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