Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN delivered a strong performance in qualifying for the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, with Antonio Giovinazzi deservedly claiming a place in Q3 and setting the tenth fastest time of the session, ahead of team-mate Kimi Räikkönen in 12th.
It is a strong result for the team, the best collective qualifying result of the year at a crunch moment in the season, and it puts on display the form we have shown so far this weekend. With tomorrow’s inaugural race on the Jeddah Corniche Circuit a big question mark, Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN have done their job to be in the best possible position to aim for points with both cars.
Frédéric Vasseur, Team Principal Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN: “The team delivered a really good performance today, we achieved a good result and we were the closest we have been all year to having two cars in Q3. We capitalised on the strong start of our weekend, yesterday in practice, and went on to build on it. Both drivers were comfortable in their cars and delivered good laps, at the limit, when it mattered. Still, there are no points on offer today: we still have a long race ahead of us and we’ll need to make sure we maximise our chances tomorrow. Nobody knows how the race is going to shape up: it will be a very interesting evening, that’s for sure.”
Kimi Räikkönen (car number 7):
Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN C41 (Chassis 05/Ferrari)
FP3: 13th / 1:29.689 (24 laps)
Q1: 1:28.856 (10 laps)
Q2: 12th / 1:28.885 (8 laps)
“It was a good performance, we were really close to making it to Q3 but it didn’t work out in the end. The last corner wasn’t that good and it cost us a little bit of time, but in the end what made the difference was that probably we should have stayed on the mediums for an extra lap. I wanted to try the soft tyres and it didn’t work. Still, we are in a good place to start: it’s hard to tell how the race will go, it will surely be important to be in the thick of it and we’ll give everything to bring home a good result.”
Antonio Giovinazzi (car number 99):
Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN C41 (Chassis 02/Ferrari)
FP3: 12th / 1:29.590 (20 laps)
Q1: 1:28.899 (10 laps)
Q2: 1:28.616 (6 laps)
Q3: 10th / 1:28.754 (5 laps)
“It was a great qualifying and I had a lot of fun, the car today was just brilliant. We knew the medium tyres would be better and we showed just how good they were in Q2. The soft in Q3 weren’t as good and we struggled a bit more, it took us longer to get them in the right window, but tomorrow we will start on medium which is a positive. I could have improved even more on my Q2 lap but I had a little kiss with the wall on my final flying lap: thankfully I could still make it through. Starting in P10 with our preferred tyres, on a track like this, will be good and I can’t wait for the race. We had a strong weekend straight from FP1 and now we just need to keep this pace, maybe with a bit of the luck that has eluded us all season, to bring home a good result.”