In this season the Finn is experiencing a come back to the roots: the stakes were high after the first races, making probable a stable Q2 appearance at almost every weekend. The last rounds told a different story so far, but the former Ferrari man doesn’t complain too much to the previous adventures:
I think the work itself is no different. Basically, do the same stuff, it doesn’t matter which team you are in. Racing, I think there has been some good battles. If it’s like Monaco, even in the front, if you’re stuck behind somebody, it’s not the greatest place for racing but there’s been good battles here and there. I wouldn’t say that a lot of things have changed. I think you get more close battles in quite a few races because the midfield teams are closer together. At least there’s been some overtaking this year – but generally the working side hasn’t changed. It’s a bit less busy, so that’s a good thing.
After the illusion of an interesting Canadian weekend after FP1 6th place, Kimi Raikkonen weekend development hasn’t been so strong.
Immediately after, both remaining Practice sessions retained him on the 16th slot of the timetable: Q2 was on target at least for showing that the top ten shot wasn’t a casualty.
Unfortunately, the three-trap session ended up immediately after the first fifteen minutes, with the teammate Giovinazzi able to climb up to the 13th slot:
We tried twice but we were just not fast enough over the two laps in Q1, it’s as simple as that. Yes, the track was slippery but that’s not an excuse as it is the same for everyone. And yes, the performance in FP3 was better but unfortunately FP3 is FP3 and qualifying is qualifying.
Being in the Montreal track, car’s handling and behaviour importance is maximised to the highest levels: a stop and go circuit means mechanical traction and grip are needed, a good engine required for long straight, a decent brake balance for the more than 400 brakings during the 70 laps and a set up of suspensions for digesting the kerb of the famous chicanes; these are the ingredients for high expectations in the middle of groundhogs:
It’s quite a tricky track in the end, because obviously… It’s not really a street circuit but it’s very narrow on the exit of the chicanes, so if you get it wrong you must push over the kerbs and if your car is not very good over the kerbs it’s easy to touch the walls. Plus, there are a lot of brakings that must be right. It not an awful lot of corners but it’s not the easiest place to get right.
On Sunday, he immediately lost one position at the very first phase of the race: early pitter with a change from Medium to the Hard compound and being behind the team mate Giovinazzi in 14th position.
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The race didn’t offer much of action for #7 Alfa Romeo driver: an overtake to Magnussen at the 16th lap offered clear track for all the remaining kilometres; after Antonio’s spin, he claimed to be the first car of the team. At the very last phase, team decided to stop him for mounting a fresh set of Soft: probably it could have been better to stay out with the current old tyres.
Not an easy weekend, not an easy race, as we didn’t have the speed to fight for position. Some laps it felt better, then there were laps where we struggled to find grip. We have work to do and we also will get new parts and this should help us to get back into the fight for points.
A 15th place may not be satisfying habitude for the rest of the season: Kimi and Alfa deserve better placement for the commitment shown in its early phases. The Paul Ricard straights are the next battleground for the Spartan.