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Raikkonen: We’d be stronger if we did the Spanish Grand Prix again

Barcelona, Spain

Alfa Romeo’s Kimi Raikkonen says that the extensive testing they’ve carried out this week has helped them to figure out some of their pace issues from the Spanish GP weekend.

Alfa Romeo finished the Spanish Grand Prix without a single point, with neither Kimi Raikkonen or Antonio Giovinazzi managing to get their cars into the top ten. Pace issues throughout the entire weekend for both cars was compounded by an error on the opening lap from Raikkonen that left him last and having to fight back throughout the race.

Alfa openly admitted that they needed the two days of testing at the circuit this week in order to address their recent decline in competitiveness, but even testing didn’t go that smoothly for them. Ferrari Academy driver Callum Ilott drove the C38 for the opening day of the test and, during the afternoon, crashed heavily at Turn 3. While uninjured, the car was destroyed and required rebuilding overnight.

Ilott: ‘Gutted’ to have let down the team after testing crash.

Alfa worked throughout the night on Tuesday in order to repair the C38 for use on Wednesday and, half an hour after the green light on Wednesday, Kimi Raikkonen trundled down the pitlane to start the final day of official F1 testing in 2019.

He would go on to clock up 110 laps over the day, with a best time of 1:17.393 set on the softest C5 tyre. This was just under two seconds off the fastest laptime of the test, which was set by Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas on the same compound on Tuesday.

“It was a pretty good day in the car.” said Raikkonen afterwards.

“After yesterday’s issues we had to change our testing programme slightly but we managed to go through all the different things we wanted to try. We had the chance to work with different compounds, we worked on the set-up and we put a few different parts on the car, so it was a busy day. I feel that if we did the race weekend again, we’d be stronger than we were.”

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Thomas Maher

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