Kimi Raikkonen confident of improved Alfa Romeo pace in Azerbaijan


Kimi Raikkonen feels positive about the improvements his Alfa Romeo team have made recently, after scoring their first point of the season in Monaco.

The Finn’s team-mate Antonio Giovinazzi earned a P10 finish in Monte Carlo to get the Hinwil-based outfit off the mark in the Constructors’ Championship in 2021.

With the compactness of the midfield in Formula 1 at the moment, Raikkonen hopes the team will be able to capitalise and have more points on the board by Sunday evening.

“It’s nice to see the team getting stronger with each race and I hope this weekend can be a good one for us,” Raikkonen said in a pre-race preview with Alfa Romeo.

“Races in Baku can be very chaotic and it’s always a good chance to get a good result if we do our job properly.

“We know what we have to do – get the most from every session, from Friday to Sunday: we have shown we can battle with everyone in the midfield so let’s see how it goes.”

Kimi Raikkonen, 2021 Portuguese Grand Prix qualifying

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Team principal Frederic Vasseur echoed Raikkonen’s faith in the car and hopes to lead the team and build on their Monaco pace, adding: “We approach the next race full of confidence in our team, our car and our chances.

“Breaking our duck and scoring a point in Monaco has been important, mostly from the psychological side, as we finally had a weekend where bad luck didn’t hamper our progression.

“We still feel a bit of disappointment as we know we could have finished even higher up the road, but this just shows how much potential we still have.

“We come to Baku ready to continue placing our cars in Q2 and beyond, have another good race and hopefully bring home another strong result.”

After Giovinazzi brought home the team’s first point of the season last time out, he is hopeful of backing that up with another positive performance in Baku.

“Baku is one of my favourite tracks to race on, I love it,” said the Italian. “I have some very good memories here from my time in GP2 and I had a strong Saturday when I first came here in F1, in 2019.

“I had my first Q3 on that day and I would love a repeat performance this weekend. Getting a point on the board last time out in Monaco was a good result, even more so when we think about how strong we looked.

“We are confident we can carry over this form here and continue to reap the results of the progression we have made.”

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