Alfa Romeo returns to Silverstone this weekend as a fully fledged team, having been the triumphant winners of the very first Formula 1 Grand Prix at the venue back in 1950. On that day, Giuseppe Farina led home an Alfa 1-2-3 with Luigi Fagioli and Reg Parnell.
69 years later, and Alfa head to Silverstone with Kimi Raikkonen and Antonio Giovinazzi both fired up following their double points finish last time out in Austria. While Raikkonen is no stranger to the points, Giovinazzi’s P10 was his first ever point in Formula 1.
Having gone through a lean spell with three races outside the points in Spain, Monaco & Canada, Alfa Romeo’s upgrades for France and Austria have worked well and team boss Frederic Vasseur says that the team are feeling good as a result: “We can draw some big positives from our recent performances but we are all too aware that we cannot rest on our laurels.”
“The midfield battle is very tight – we have said it time and time again, but that doesn’t change the facts. A good race or a bad race can swing you up or down the standings so we need to keep working hard and maximising the package we bring to the races to make sure we keep finishing ahead of our rivals.”
Alfa are currently P6 in the Constructor’s Standings with 22 points, 10 behind Renault and 30 behind McLaren’s P4 position. Kimi Raikkonen has been the heavy hitter for Alfa so far, scoring 21 of those points, and the Finn reckons Silverstone could prove to be a happy hunting ground for them: “Silverstone is always a good place to come back to. It’s an old-school track and it’s quite fun to drive, especially in the fast corners. As a team, we have shown improvement in the last couple of races and I think Britain is another place where we can do well. As always, we will need to do a perfect job because the margins are very small between teams, but I am confident we can have another good result.”
Giovinazzi, whose maiden F1 point cost him some of his famously long hair as a result of a bet, says he’s now developed a taste for finishing in the top ten, and wants to sample it some more: “Scoring points in Austria felt good, but I feel there is so much more we can achieve. We were competitive and we were able to extract more performance from our car than we had in the past, which is an encouraging sign for the future. Silverstone, as a track, should suit our car and I am confident we can fight once more for points. I definitely had a taste of the top ten now and I want to keep scoring points – perhaps without losing my hair as a consequence!”