The Austrian weekend just ended and was dominated by Max Verstappen, who on his team's home track stretched significantly on his opponent for the World Title. The brilliant performance of the Dutch driver perhaps overshadowed, for the less attentive, the excellent races of the Ferrari powered cars, with the Maranello team very consistent in the race and Alfa Romeo serving good performances throughout the weekend, almost reaching both in qualifying and in the race the top 10.
During an Interview with MotorLat and other selected media, after the race, Xevi Pujolar, Head of Trackside Engineering Alfa Romeo Racing Orlen, commented on the ups and downs that the Swiss team had during this weekend:
"What we need to do is to improve our Saturdays. Yesterday was not as good as we expected, but actually today we were expecting a more difficult race," he stated.
"Looking at FP2 we thought the competitors would've been stronger, so I guess it was good for us. We tried to cover different scenarios with Kimi and Antonio, because in these conditions, with very hot temperatures, we've seen multiple safety cars in the past. So for the race itself I think we achieved what we could have achieved, and we did a good job."
"Now, for next week, on the same track, we definitely need to improve our Saturday of qualifying, and hopefully make things easier, because it's frustrating to perform a good race, but to finish P11 again."
"Yesterday Antonio made good progress, with Kimi next week will try to see if we can bring him in the Q2, then having both cars in Q2 will help us and the drivers. The target is to be ahead of both Williams in qualifying, and then hopefully we'll manage to do a good race as we did today."
He also explained their strategy as with the first pit stop they managed to keep Ricciardo's McLaren behind:
"We didn't react to Riccardo's pit stop, we were trying to understand which was the best spot for us to box, we also had some blue flags coming along, so as soon as we left them behind we had a bit of concern about how much we wanted to push in the second stint with the mediums. So we decided to go for it a few laps before the McLaren, and then we managed to stay ahead of them," he said.
When he was asked by MotorLat.com about whether the contact with Leclerc's Ferrari might have jeopardized Kimi Raikkonen's race after something fell off of his front wing, he said:
"At that point we thought that there was some damage, we looked at the data, we analysed the video footage and we saw that there was no damage, so he could have continued to push, he was actually very strong at the end of the race, so all good.''
"With the slow pit stops it'll be a bit different maybe, but it's the same for everyone, just as the new regulations [in view of 2022], so I think it won't change much," he added referring to the new pit stops regulations that the FIA will introduce starting from the Hungarian GP, when asked by MotorLat.com.
"While it’s disappointing to finish within touching distance of the points, the way this result matured is a demonstration of the fighting spirit of the team"— Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN (@alfaromeoracing) June 27, 2021
Race Report ⬇️👀 #StyrianGP https://t.co/LfVDiTUvwQ