Kimi expects Q3 showing ‘sooner or later’

Jon Wilde
Kimi Raikkonen, Alfa Romeo, Tuscan Grand Prix, Mugellio

Alfa Romeo 2021 line-up to be decided in October.

Kimi Raikkonen believes Alfa Romeo are closing in on a Q3 place after another encouraging qualifying performance for the Tuscan Grand Prix at Mugello.

The Finn, back at the scene of his famous first F1 test for Sauber exactly 20 years ago, will start the race P13 – and was unlucky not to be higher as he clocked exactly the same Q2 time as the man immediately in front of him on the grid, Daniil Kvyat.

In addition, Raikkonen again finished ahead of his former Ferrari team-mate Sebastian Vettel.

But despite extracting somewhere near the maximum from the car, the 40-year-old is still not satisfied and thinks that with further improvement a top-10 grid slot is achievable.

“It’s a good result in the circumstances but obviously we want a lot more,” said the 2007 world champion.

“It’s always disappointing not to be higher up as we were very close to the top 10. But there’s not much else we could get out of the car, although it felt quite nice again.

“We keep pushing for a spot in Q3 and sooner or later we will break in.

“We will keep trying and see what we can get tomorrow. I think it will be difficult to overtake here, but we can only do our best and see what we can do.”

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Raikkonen’s team-mate Antonio Giovinazzi will start P17 and he thought the nature of the circuit had punished him for making only a minor error on his second Q1 run.

“I’m disappointed to be out in Q1 as today we had the potential to do better,” said the Italian, who scored Alfa Romeo’s only two points of the campaign so far at the season-opening Austrian Grand Prix.

“I put in a good lap on my first run, but on the second one I just didn’t pull it all together.

“This is a track where a small mistake costs you a lot because this layout is effectively a sequence of corners: if you do a mistake, you lose momentum and your lap is ruined, and this is what happened.

“The race tomorrow will be tough, physically tough, with high temperatures and on a track where overtaking is difficult. We will try our best to make up some ground.”

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