Giovinazzi and Alfa Romeo targeting Q3 after strong practice form
“Unfortunately, my start of the season with Alfa Romeo Racing was not as expected, but I’ll stay focused and I’ll work hard and I’m sure that things will turn around and success will come – hopefully already in Monaco.”
That’s what Antonio Giovinazzi had to say before arriving in Monte Carlo – and on Thursday his hopes came true, as he and team mate Kimi Raikkonen put Alfa Romeo firmly inside the top 10 in second practice around the Principality’s famous streets.
“It was a positive day, all the team did a fantastic job,” enthused Giovinazzi, after he edged out Raikkonen to finish eighth fastest. “The car was easy to drive already from FP1, so yeah, really happy for today.”
The Italian will now be using at least part of Friday’s ‘rest day’ to go through the data in a bid to maintain that form come Saturday – with Giovinazzi having notably qualified eighth on the last street circuit we visited, in Baku (though a grid penalty then demoted him to 17th).
“We need to push really hard – try to find the last tenths, because still the midfield is really close," he added. "So we have to work really hard [on Friday] and make sure we are still in the top 10 also on Saturday.
“I hope to be in Q3 and then that would be a lot more easy on Sunday as well, so this is the target!”
Raikkonen, too, conceded that Alfa Romeo’s Thursday showing had ‘been a bit better than we expected’, though Team Principal Fred Vasseur was keen to keep expectations in check.
“We are satisfied with the work we did today but we are not getting carried away,” said Vasseur. “Finding some extra performance is crucial if we want to target two places in Q3, which is our objective.
“It’s good to start in Monaco with two clean sessions, as track time is essential to build confidence around this track.”
Giovinazzi will be hoping his confidence can translate into points come Sunday – he is one of only three drivers, along with the Williams duo, yet to score in 2019.