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.”