F1 | Russell, Seidl and Giovinazzi on Alfa Romeo’s gains over the winter
Can Alfa Romeo rejoin the midfield battle in 2021 following an impressive three days of pre-season testing? We’ll find out very soon.
The opening round of the new season is just a week away at the Bahrain International Circuit, and it’s also been a week since the conclusion of three days of pre-season testing at the same venue.
2020 was a difficult campaign for Alfa Romeo as they dropped away from the midfield fight and ended up in a tussle with Williams and Haas as the three teams vied for P8-P10 in the Constructors’ Championships. Alfa won out in the end.
However, 2021 looks more promising for the Swiss-based team. They completed the most laps in testing and the car + engine seems to be a step forward.
McLaren team boss Andreas Seidl said to RTL that ''Alfa Romeo have also done a good job over the winter’’ and George Russell believes ''they look like the most surprising team’’ following testing.
“Kimi looked very, very fast,” was Russell's verdict about Alfa’s speed on the final day of running.
“I have to give him credit. Although I need to look deeper into the data, I would say at the moment they look like the most surprising team.
“I can't honestly tell you where I think we are in comparison, but on the face of things, Kimi looked very fast.”
As well as praise from the outside, Antonio Giovinazzi was happy with his new challenger after a day and a half in the car and praised the stability of the C41. The Italian will be starting his third full season in the sport next weekend.
“I am happy with the work done in Sakhir,” the 27-year-old stated to Autosport.com.
“Although they are still tests, I believe that the first impression with the car is still important.
“Despite the difficult conditions with the wind and sand on the first day, I never had any particular problems.
"In fact, even in the tricky conditions, the car proved to be stable and you could drive it with pleasure.
“I would say that this is a well-born project, and we can be satisfied with the work of preparing for the season.”
Despite attempts to reduce downforce thanks to changes to the floor for 2021, Giovinazzi says he’s seen a ‘’lot of progress’’ from his team because of car improvements.
“The new regulations and the new tyres aim to reduce performance, but I have to say that I have seen a lot of progress,” he added.
“The front of the car is more responsive, especially in the low-speed sections, and in general the feeling is positive in all types of corners.
“The power unit has improved too. It was an immediate sensation, and this will undoubtedly give us a hand to get closer to our rivals.”