Alfa Romeo targeting test improvements after ‘disappointing weekend’
While their midfield rivals at Haas and McLaren flourished, the Spanish Grand Prix proved to be a demoralising event for Alfa Romeo, with Kimi Raikkonen finishing as their best-placed driver in P14, two places up on team mate Antonio Giovinazzi.
Raikkonen’s afternoon got off to a disastrous start when he fell from his P14 grid slot to last after slewing wide and into the gravel at Turn 4, while Giovinazzi – having started at the back of the field after taking a five-place grid penalty for a gearbox swap – failed to make a soft-hard-soft, two-stop strategy work for him, as he finished behind his team mate for the fifth time in as many races.
Explaining his adventure-filled first lap, Raikkonen said: “It was very slippery on the mediums and I almost spun into Turn 3, but just tried to go for it.
“I almost managed to stop on the edge of the tarmac, then once I’d dropped the left wheel in the gravel, it took a while to get back.
“But I think after that, we never really had the speed. I mean, in the end we had the same speed as the guys in front but there’s only so much you can do with that.
“So not a good weekend, but luckily we have a few days of testing next week and hopefully we can figure out what’s going on.”
The result – which marked the first time this year Raikkonen has failed to score points – rounded off a weekend where the team had never really looked in contention in the midfield. And along with Raikkonen, it is also something Team Principal Fred Vasseur plans to analyse closely when the team tests at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya on Tuesday and Wednesday this week.
“It’s important for the two days of testing ahead that we honestly assess our performance and get back to where we stood so far this season,” said Vasseur.
”It was a disappointing weekend where we never managed to express our potential. It is difficult to find some positives.
“Circumstances didn’t help and with Antonio’s grid position and Kimi falling to the back in the opening lap, our race was effectively compromised. I would say that today’s result belittles our real level: everything seemed to go against us this weekend.”
Alfa Romeo’s first point-less weekend of the year means they drop from sixth to seventh in the standings, having been overtaken by Haas after the American team’s first double points haul of the year in Spain.