Kimi Raikkonen says Alfa Romeo Racing has the speed to top the midfield after another points result in F1 Chinese GP but he adds the car lacks qualifying pace.
Out of the three grand prix so far in the 2019 F1 season, Raikkonen has twice made it to Q3 and scored in all the races but it hasn’t been the smoothest drive. His teammate Antonio Giovinazzi is yet to secure a Top 10 finish – whether in qualifying or in the race.
Post the Barcelona test, the car was believed to be amongst the likes of Renault and Haas in the midfield fight. It is certainly in the mix as it finds itself tied on 12 points with Renault in fifth with Haas, four points behind in sixth after China.
While Giovinazzi couldn’t do much after a difficult weekend due to reliability issues, Raikkonen worked the one-stop strategy well to finish eighth. He was lining up to catch Racing Point’s Sergio Perez but didn’t get enough heat on the front tyres.
“Generally, I think the car was good,” the Alfa Romeo driver said. “Just at the end we lost the front tyre, probably because of the temperature as it got too cold. Its a shame because I felt that we had the speed to fight.
“I was saving tyres and planning to fight in the last laps but that’s how it is.” He was in the train led by Renault’s Daniel Ricciardo but neither Perez nor Raikkonen had enough to fight through. The pace so far in the races has led the Finn to believe that the car is strong.
He feels it is enough to beat the midfield teams but they aren’t too well in qualifying because Raikkonen has only scrapped through rather than set the stage alive.”The car was very good in the race and I enjoyed driving,” he said.
“But unfortunately, in qualifying we were not that strong as we were hoping for. I think we understood already somethings but I think if we can get the qualifying better, we can have a much more free race, we have the speed to on top of the guys around us.”
Aside the qualifying pace, Alfa Romeo has to keep an eye on reliability as well where Giovinazzi has had to face much especially in China. To position itself well, it needs two cars in the points regularly in the coming races.
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