Alfa Romeo report from Sunday at the United States Grand Prix, round 19 of the 2019 FIA Formula One World Championship.
Rodeos are rough affairs. The riders cling on for dear life, thrown about by a reluctant beast that wasn’t once asked what it thought of the game plan. It kicks, it bucks, it jumps – and there is only one conclusion. The ride wins.
It felt a little bit like that, on track, today. We put in a big fight: we held on to a points-paying position for as long as we could, giving everything we had. Ultimately, though, that was not enough. Just as we felt we could grasp the objective, one final thrust was what made us fall just short. P11 and P14 is not what we wanted.
Yet, rodeos are not just about the end result. It’s about how one fights, it’s about the performance. And on that front, we cannot beat ourselves up too much: what we saw here in Texas was a step forward, something to build on, a good indication ahead of the final races of the season.
We may have ended up down in the dirt this time, but what we showed when we were in the saddle was a lot better. After all, at the end of a rodeo, the riders stand back up, dust themselves off, and get ready to do better the next time around.
Frédéric Vasseur, Team Principal Alfa Romeo Racing and CEO Sauber Motorsport AG:
“The results may say we finish this race outside of the top ten, but we can at least point to many positives. We looked a lot more competitive compared to the previous rounds and we were able to be in the fight for a points finish for most of the afternoon. We move on to the final two races of the season aware that a lot of work is still ahead of us, but knowing we are moving in the right direction.”
Kimi Räikkönen (car number 7):
Alfa Romeo Racing C38 (Chassis 06/Ferrari)
Race result: 11th
Fastest lap: 1:39.608
Tyres: New Soft (18 laps) – New Hard (22 laps) – New Soft (15 laps)
“There were a lot of positives we can take from this race, even though finishing 11th and out of the points is annoying after a fairly competitive race. I had a really good start, we looked a lot better and at least we were in the fight from start to finish. It’s something we can work on and build on for the next races.”
Antonio Giovinazzi (car number 99):
Alfa Romeo Racing C38 (Chassis 04/Ferrari)
Race result: 14th
Fastest lap: 1:39.964
Tyres: New Medium (17 laps) – New Hard (22 laps) – New Soft (16 laps)
“As a team, we looked stronger this weekend so we can be optimistic for the future, even if we didn’t score today. We made a decision to go for a different strategy compared to Kimi and in the end it worked out better for him. I started on mediums but struggled for grip. It got a bit better when we switched to softs but by then it was too late to make a difference. We need to keep pushing, we are making steps forward and hopefully we will be even better in Brazil.”