Kimi Raikkonen says the first race of the season was not bad, but he is disappointed that they did not win some points in the end even though he and teammate Antonio Giovinazzi were among the top ten for most of the race.
Alfa Romeo returned to the middle of the standings after a bad last season in which they were hit by a dramatic loss of Ferrari engine power, with Giovinazzi and Raikkonen qualifying in 12th and 14th place. In a race with just two withdrawals, Raikkonen and Giovinazzi battled cars in the middle and showed they had made a big step forward from last season when they mostly fought Haas and Williams.
“It wasn’t a bad race, we had some good fights and the car behaved nicely,” Raikkonen said. "But it's disappointing that we didn't win points because we were in the top ten almost all evening."
"If the race had been a few laps longer we would probably have been able to catch the cars in front of us, but we will keep trying." "The car seemed good, as in the tests, so it is clear that we have made a step forward compared to last year.
We still have more work to do to close the gap for the top five teams, but we will continue to fight to find a little more performance. ”
Giovinazzi on his race
Giovinazzi lost some time during his first tire change and believes he would have been close to Raikkonen without that mistake, but thinks he would not have finished in the top ten.
“Compared to last season we are much faster and we have a much better car so we can be happy with the step forward we have made,” Giovinazzi said. "It wasn't enough to win points, but we're pretty close to the top ten and we can fight for points all the time."
“My race was good, I think I got everything I could out of the car, but we lost time on the first tire change. In the end, mistakes happen, but we have to learn from them and make sure we don't make them again. ” "Without that problem, I'd probably be close to Kimi."
"I am now focused on Imola and racing in my country and I hope for a good result to make Tifos happy." Team boss Frederic Vasseur praised his team’s progress and said they were back in the middle of the standings after a bad 2020. “The first race is a strong indicator of the progress we have made in the last 12 months,” Vasseur said.