Mexico GP: Let’s taco ’bout qualifying
Qualifying in P14 and P15 is definitely not the kind of result the Alfa Romeo Racing team wished for, and not even what they were expecting after showing promising pace in the earlier sessions in the weekend. But even though they fell short of their aim in qualifying, the team is not out of this fight yet.
The Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez is a funny old place. It’s deceptively straightforward on first observation, but it can bite. It chews through your tyres, it spits you into walls at the first mistake, it can lead you astray with wind, bumps, the lack of drag of Mexico City’s thin air. But it also offers opportunities.
Strategy will be key. Last years, teams jockeyed to be just outside the top ten – and thus be able to choose their starting tyres. The compounds may not be the same as last year, but strategy is still bound to play a key role in this race.
Frédéric Vasseur, Team Principal Alfa Romeo Racing and CEO Sauber Motorsport AG:
“After our promising start of the weekend, it’s disappointing to qualify in P14 and P15. These are not the starting positions we were expecting, but we must not forget that this race has seen plenty of drivers making their way through the field thanks to the strategy. Our focus is fully on anticipating tomorrow’s conditions, especially when it comes to the tyres, and finding a plan that allows us to climb some places.”
Kimi Räikkönen #7:
“P14 is not what we wanted but that’s how it is. The margin to finishing in a higher position wasn’t big: it’s disappointing as the car has been pretty ok all weekend and we looked more competitive in the earlier sessions. We’ll have to see how it goes tomorrow: we have the chance to start with a different tyre to some of the cars in front of us, so hopefully we can make it work in our favour.”
Antonio Giovinazzi #99:
“It was a difficult qualifying for us. I did a mistake in the final sector and that cost me a few tenths, but I don’t think it would have changed much in the end. Tomorrow will not be an easy race, but we have to look at the opportunities we can get. Degradation will be high, especially for those starting on softs, so choosing our own starting compound is the one positive of our qualifying position. Finding the right strategy and managing the tyres will be important if we are to make up some ground.”