Alfa's Giovinazzi targeting elusive first F1 point after out-qualifying Raikkonen

CIRCUIT PAUL RICARD, FRANCE - JUNE 21: Antonio Giovinazzi, Alfa Romeo Racing C38 during the French

For the second Grand Prix in a row, Antonio Giovinazzi out-qualified much more experienced team mate Kimi Raikkonen in France on Saturday. But now the Alfa Romeo man is on the hunt for something more important – his maiden world championship point...

Unlike Raikkonen, Giovinazzi progressed to Q3 at Circuit Paul Ricard to qualify 10th, giving the Italian his best grid position to date – he qualified eighth in Azerbaijan but started the race 17th after penalties – which he plans to build on come Sunday.

“Yes, it was a positive qualifying,” said a delighted Giovinazzi. “Top 10, I think I am really happy with this. Tomorrow will be a difficult race, starting with the soft [tyre], but we have good pace and hope we can also have a better result tomorrow.

"We start from the top 10 - we need to be there for the rest of the race, have a good strategy, good pace and finally try to get this first point."

Asked about again getting the better of his veteran Alfa colleague – and the man who lifted the 2007 drivers’ crown – Kimi Raikkonen, Giovinazzi added: “Yeah, it’s tough!

“He’s still a world champion team mate and still really strong and fast, so I’m really happy with this, but important tomorrow to try and take finally this first point.”

Antonio Giovinazzi: 'Now we need to get our first points'

To score that first point, Giovinazzi will need to improve on his best race result to date by a single position – he took 11th place in Bahrain earlier in the year after starting 16th on the grid.

As for Raikkonen, the Finn admitted a mistake on his part had been the difference between a place in the pole shoot-out and the Q2 elimination he suffered, on a weekend when Alfa Romeo have brought significant upgrades to their car.

“We’ve brought some improvements, new parts, it’s improved – I just made a mistake in that last lap and that’s enough to cost [you], but that’s how it goes,” he commented. “We can at least choose the tyres that we want [for the race start], so it’s not too bad.”


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