FIA Formula One Grosser Preis von Österreich 2020 – Qualifying – Saturday
Weather: FP3: sunny 21.7-23°C air, 42.8-48.9°C track; Q: sunny, 24.6-25.1°C air, 53.8-48.8°C track
The first qualifying session of the year came and went – a little too quickly – as the sun shone on Spielberg: and just when we were hoping for a good result to set us up for a solid result in tomorrow’s season opener, things turned against us. We will line up on the grid with Antonio Giovinazzi in P18 and Kimi Räikkönen in P19, both our drivers falling foul of circumstances that saw them bow out in Q1 when both had a chance to progress.
With a close midfield battle developing to claim a spot in Q2, a perfect effort was required: unfortunately, traffic scuppered Kimi’s chances of progression, while an off while on a fast lap brought an end to Antonio’s bid for a place in the top 15.
Not an ideal start, of course. But the weekend – and the season that is just dawning – is still long and tomorrow’s race offers an immediate chance of redemption. With hard work and a little bit of luck, we can still turn this Austrian Grand Prix right.
Frédéric Vasseur, Team Principal Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN and CEO Sauber Motorsport AG: “It’s been a challenging start to the weekend and we will have our work cut out in tomorrow’s race. We needed things to go our way and unfortunately we hit trouble with both cars, Kimi finding traffic on his flying lap and Antonio going wide when he was improving his time. It’s definitely not where we wanted to be on the grid and not ideal when looking at tomorrow, but we will need to be at our best to move up and recover a good result.”
Kimi Räikkönen (car number 7):
Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN C39 (Chassis 02/Ferrari)
3rd practice: 19th / 1:05.773 (19 laps) / Q: 19th / 1:05.224 (9 laps)
“We kind of expected a difficult day but that’s where we seem to be right now. We knew we would be on the limit, and finding a bit of traffic on my final lap did it for me. We have to find a way to regain our competitiveness against our rivals: it’s only the first race, we are not where we want to be but we have the time to improve. Tomorrow we will try to recover a good result: we have nothing to lose so we’ll just go out and try to do the best we can.”
Antonio Giovinazzi (car number 99):
Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN C39 (Chassis 04/Ferrari)
3rd practice: 18th / 1:05.654 (16 laps) / Q: 18th / 1:05.175 (8 laps)
“Not the start we wanted, but we have to focus on ways to make it better tomorrow. I pushed really hard on my final lap, I was on the limit and unfortunately I made a small mistake: I knew I had to try something special but it didn’t work out. We can hopefully make up some ground in the race: I think we are a bit stronger in the long run pace so if we get the strategy calls right and keep out of trouble in the opening laps, we can have some confidence in gaining some places as the race progresses.”
About Alfa Romeo brand:
Since its founding in Milan, Italy, in 1910, Alfa Romeo has designed and crafted some of the most stylish and exclusive cars in automotive history. That tradition lives on today as Alfa Romeo continues to take a unique and innovative approach to designing automobiles.
In every Alfa Romeo, technology and passion converge to produce a true work of art – every detail essential, every design the perfect harmony between beauty and purpose, engineering and emotion. Fully reviving Alfa Romeo’s spirit and maximizing its global appeal has been one of FCA’s priorities. Following a clear and well-defined strategy, Alfa Romeo is writing a new chapter in its more than century-long history that represents an extraordinary opportunity to realize the brand’s full potential. Today, Alfa Romeo is a true showcase of the Group’s best resources, talent and technological know-how. First with the Giulia, and more recently with the Stelvio, Alfa Romeo has created two models that capture the pure and original spirit of the brand – that instantly recognizable thoroughbred character. These models are testament to Alfa Romeo’s La meccanica delle emozioni spirit and quintessential examples of what people have come to expect from this prestigious brand.
About Sauber Group of Companies:
The Sauber Group of Companies is composed of three operational entities: Sauber Motorsport AG, which operates and manages the Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN Formula One team; Sauber Engineering AG, which focuses on prototype development and additive manufacturing; and Sauber Aerodynamik AG, which conducts full and model-scale testing in the factory’s state-of-the-art wind tunnel and creates ground-breaking innovations in the field of aerodynamics. The companies collaborate closely and share know-how to apply the expertise of more than 500 dedicated individuals at the headquarter in Hinwil, Switzerland, to all internal and external projects. Since its founding in 1970, the passion for racing has been at the heart of Sauber.
For the last 50 years, the innovative Swiss company has been setting standards in the design, development and construction of race cars for various championship series, such as Formula One, DTM, and WEC. Following its own Formula One debut in 1993, Sauber Motorsport AG has established one of the few traditional and privately held teams in the sport. After 25 years of competition in Formula One, the company launched a long-term partnership with Alfa Romeo in 2018 and enters the 2020 championship under the new team name Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN.