2021 FIA Formula One Emilia Romagna Grand Prix – Qualifying – Saturday

2021 FIA Formula One Emilia Romagna Grand Prix 

Qualifying – Saturday

A challenging day in Imola saw Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN fall short of its target in a tight qualifying session for the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix. Despite looking good in the Friday practice sessions, the team struggled on Saturday, a situation that became apparent from FP3 in the morning. Even some clawing back of performance ahead of the afternoon session couldn’t prevent Kimi Räikkönen and Antonio Giovinazzi to bow out in Q1.

In a session interrupted by a red flag in the middle of the first set of runs, and with the threat of track limits infringements always looming, the Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN drivers claimed the 16th and 17th places on the grid. With Imola a challenging place for overtaking, our work has been cut out – but we will put up a fight. Last year, we placed two cars in the points when starting even further back on the grid, so the objective is to battle our way through the field one more time…


Frédéric Vasseur, Team Principal Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN and CEO Sauber Motorsport AG: “Today’s result is not what we aimed for, especially after the good performance we delivered yesterday. We were just not able to demonstrate the full potential of our car. Starting where we are won’t make our job easier, but we know we can compete against many of the cars ahead of us and we will do our best to make up on the ground we lost today.”

Kimi Räikkönen (car number 7):

Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN C41 (Chassis 04/Ferrari)

FP3: 19th / 1:16.803 (23 laps)

Q1: 16th / 1:15.974 (10 laps)

“We missed out on a place in Q2 by just a tenth, but when the margins are so close that’s enough to be out earlier than expected. We knew from the morning we were going to struggle, there was nothing wrong specifically but we just lost a bit of the pace we had yesterday. Tomorrow we will have a big job to get back in the points: a lot will depend on the weather, whether it rains or not. Judging by yesterday, we seem to be stronger in race trim but overtaking is not easy around here: we will do our best and see what we can get out of this race.”

Antonio Giovinazzi (car number 99):   

Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN C41 (Chassis 03/Ferrari)

FP3: 18th / 1:16.612 (22 laps)

Q1: 17th / 1:16.122 (9 laps)

“It’s very disappointing not to get the chance to even set my final lap because of what happened today. Drivers normally respect each other on track but that was not the case today – Mazepin just failed to leave the space to the car ahead that all other drivers always give and destroyed my lap. I haven’t spoken with him yet, but this is not the behaviour we expect from each other on track. It’s a shame as the pace we had in the car yesterday was really good and we could have got a good result here: we will see what we can do tomorrow, but starting from P17 is not ideal as it’s quite hard to overtake here. We still go out, be positive and try to get the best possible result – we scored points from the back of the grid in 2020 so we won’t give up yet.”


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