Antonio Giovinazzi has delivered strong qualifying speed at the start of the 2021 season and got rewarded for his excellent showings by getting his Alfa Romeo car into Q3 today.
The Alfas of Giovinazzi and Raikkonen have looked strong since FP1 on Thursday and the Italian got the job done when it mattered most. Giovinazzi now leads the Finn 4-1 in the qualifying head-to-head this year.
It’s the first time the team made the final segment of qualifying since Turkey last year.
“I am really happy about our first Q3 of the season,” said Giovinazzi. “We put it all together and finally got what we have been deserving for a while. We did everything right – the car felt great from the start of the weekend, the team sent us out at just the right time and we put the lap together when it mattered.
Giovinazzi believed Alfa would need something to happen to the teams ahead of them in the midfield to make Q3 this year, but the 27-year-old outpaced the likes of Ocon, Ricciardo and Stroll to get into it on merit.
“I always said that to go through to the top 10, [something had to happen to the cars] at the front,” added Giovinazzi. “But the car was really good since FP1, everything was there, and when the feeling is there in Monaco… it’s everything, it’s the key.”
As he used all his new sets of tyres in Q1 and Q2, Giovinazzi only had one fresh set [which the top 10 drivers receive] available for Q3. Due to the red flags for Leclerc’s crash, he couldn’t complete his lap on his new boots and it left him feeling slightly disappointed.
Nonetheless, Giovinazzi’s got a great opportunity to score his first points of 2021 tomorrow.
“I’m a little bit disappointed just for the last lap in Q3, because I only had one set [of new tyres] and maybe P8, P9 was possible,” said Giovinazzi. “But we need to still be happy with this performance.
“Tomorrow we need… a clean start, a good strategy and a good race. Hopefully we can bring home a good result and our first points,” he concluded.