After yesterday's qualifying, which seemed promising for Alfa Romeo, today's race left a sour taste for both the drivers of the Swiss team.
Alfa Romeo qualifying for the French GP ended with Antonio Giovinazzi in P13 and Kimi Räikkönen in P17. The Italian said he was happy with the result, even though he would have preferred to be closer to the top 10. Kimi Räikkönen was on track for a better result, but a red flag unfortunately forced him to abort his best lap. Two red flags in Q1 created a stop-start session in which setting a lap was a challenge.
Race to forget for both drivers, who finished in fifteenth and seventeenth place at Le Castellet, never really able to recover positions to at least try to get close to the points.
"We have to understand why we weren't able to replicate the good performances of the last few outings." - a disappointed Kimi Räikkönen stated - " I started well, then I struggled with the tyres, but I think it was like that for everyone: in general we just didn't have the speed we were expecting. We will analyze the data and try to improve for Austria".
Xevi Pujolar, Head of Trackside Engineering at Alfa Romeo, explained to Motorlat and other selected media how they thought the strategy and what didn't work:
"We thought we could've had more potential by differentiating the strategies, and we just wanted to maximize that potential, just to try to see if we could make it work with at least one driver," he stated.
"At some point we thought that the plan was going to actually work, because in the first part of the race we were seeing drivers struggling quite a lot with mediums, the hard tyres were worse than expected in terms of consistency," - he added - "And when everyone was struggling on mediums, the decision to go very early on the hard tyres was taken, so at that point we were like: 'now it's coming to us, they will never get to the end' .".
"We thought: 'If we can extend the time on track with the hard compound we could have both drivers in a strong position', because there was a group of cars both in front and behind us that could've make, potentially, another pit stop".
"In the second part of the race the hard compound, for some of them, was actually better than expected, and that didn't allow us to achieve what we were aiming to." he continued.
Alfa Romeo is still focusing on improving their single-seater performance, Pujolar announced:
"We're still trying to work more on the car, to bring new developments. From race to race, everything in the midfield is changing, and it's giving us the chance to be on the top ten."
"I think we can be there [in the battle] regardless of the kind of layout of the track or the tyre's compound, I think even today it was generally ok, maybe we need to understand a bit better the traffic, that could affect the race quite a lot, especially if you have graining," Pujolar concluded.