Neither Alfa Romeo driver managed to finish in the points last time out in Spain, after a weekend of appearing to suffer from a chronic lack of pace. A rare mistake from Kimi Raikkonen on the opening lap plummeted him down the order and he wasn’t able to recover from that, despite a late Safety Car.
After the race, both Raikkonen and Giovinazzi acknowledged that the team needed the two day in-season test to try finding solutions for their sudden lack of pace, after a decent start to the year.
Raikkonen, who celebrates his 300th race in Formula 1 this weekend after making his debut at the 2001 Australian Grand Prix, says that he’s more interested in finding out where the team are than how many races he’s participated in: “Everyone is talking about my 300th race, but I’m more interested in our performance. The test in Barcelona was important for us to understand our problems better, but I honestly don’t know how good our car fits to the street course in Monaco.”
Team boss Frederic Vasseur was similarly unsentimental, as he says that the team are hopeful of putting their ‘downward blip’ behind them: “The tests last week In Barcelona have been promising and I am sure that we’re back on track and going in the right direction again. It’s interesting to see how the teams battling for the midfield positions hardly get any consistency into their performance.”
“Each track is a new start – especially getting the tyres to work – and sometimes you get it right, sometimes you get it wrong. We have our downward blip behind us and going strong into the Monaco weekend.”