Kimi Raikkonen hailed Alfa Romeo’s “first positive day of the year” – and thought it could have got even better.
The Iceman has been struggling badly with his car’s lack of pace this year, the main reason why he has yet to score a World Championship point being that he had failed to advance from Q1 at any of the five previous races.
However, the Finn put that right at the Spanish Grand Prix as he finally made it into Q2, being the ‘lucky one’ of the Alfa Romeo, Haas and Williams teams who are generally fighting for one spot in the top 15 on the grid.
But having missed out on a Q3 place by just 0.220sec, Raikkonen felt a place in the top-10 shootout at the Circuit de Catalunya could even have been his if a new set of soft tyres had been available.
Instead, he will start the race from P15 on the medium tyres – a strategy that could propel him up the order relatively early in the race if he makes a clean start.
Great job from Kimi making it into Q2 today. 👏🏻 Now time to keep working ahead of tomorrow’s race.
— Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN (@alfaromeoracing) August 15, 2020
“I would say it’s the first positive day of the whole year for us,” said Raikkonen. “Today I could drive the car a bit more like I want.
“We had the speed. We’ve been trying as many things as we can come up with, sacrificing some of the qualifying sessions before to just try and learn, and today everything seemed to fall in the right place.
“Unfortunately, we didn’t have any more new sets of soft tyres. We had to use the mediums but we got pretty close even with that.
“We have to be happy but it’s disappointing that we didn’t have any more softs – we would have had a chance to go to Q3.”
For his team-mate Antonio Giovinazzi, Q3 never looked the remotest possibility. He ended up in P20 having reported to his team he thought he had damaged the floor of his car when driving over a kerb.
“On the second run the car was really difficult to drive and we don’t know (the issue) yet,” said the Italian.
“Not a great result, tomorrow for sure will be a difficult race starting from last. We need to have a good first lap and after that we will see.”
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