Alfa Romeo: Today Wasn’t Going to Be Our Day

Alfa Romeo report from Sunday at the Mexican Grand Prix, round 18 of the 2019 FIA Formula One World Championship.

Today wasn’t going to be our day. That we knew, as early as the first corner, when big chunks of carbon fibre were bitten off the floor of Kimi’s car, damaging it in way that would become clearer only later. It became even clearer when Antonio suffered issues during his first stop, putting him out of contention from the battle for the points. The signs were clear: we fought hard but to no avail.

There were positives, however, on which we could focus. Points on which we can build on, improvements that will hopefully bring us back into contention as early as next week, when we return to action in Austin. That’s indeed one of the beautiful sides of back-to-backs. Regret for a missed opportunity turns into motivation for the next round. We get a new chance in seven days, a new chance to turn our fortunes around. We’ll keep giving all to make the most of it.

Frédéric Vasseur, Team Principal Alfa Romeo Racing and CEO Sauber Motorsport AG:

“It’s disappointing to leave Mexico without points because our overall performance throughout the weekend had been better than previously. Unfortunately, Kimi sustained damage to the floor and cooling system at the first corner. He lost a lot of performance and later in the race the cooling issues meant he had to stop. Antonio was on a good strategy and was showing some decent pace, but lost more than 20 seconds in the pit-stop and that put him back in blue flag territory, meaning he wasn’t able to make any progress. We can rue the loss of this opportunity, because we could have been battling with the Toro Rossos for the points, but we can look forward to racing again in seven days.”

Kimi Räikkönen (car number 7):
Alfa Romeo Racing C38 (Chassis 06/Ferrari)
Race result: DNF
Fastest lap: 1:20.082
Tyres: New med 15 laps – new hard 37 laps – new med 6 laps

“It’s a shame to have to retire from the race because generally we had been a bit happier with things this weekend. Unfortunately, much of our day was decided at the start. I got squeezed between two cars and a big chunk of my floor was destroyed. The cooling was damaged too and later in the race the temperatures went very high and we had to stop the car. It’s unfortunate but that’s how racing goes sometimes. At some point our pace wasn’t too bad, so let’s hope we can keep improving next week.”

Antonio Giovinazzi (car number 99):
Alfa Romeo Racing C38 (Chassis 04/Ferrari)
Race result: 14th
Fastest lap: 1:21.016
Tyres: New med 21 laps – new hard 49 laps

“My start wasn’t too bad and in the opening phases I was racing with the Renaults and Racing Points, but the pit-stop issue cost us a lot of time. After that, with no Safety Car or VSC, our race was effectively compromised. I was pretty much on my own for the rest of the afternoon, so it’s hard to tell where we stood in terms of pace. We will need to work hard to get back ahead of next week, in Austin.”