Brazilian Grand Prix – Building on Saturday
2019 FIA Formula One Heineken Grande Prêmio do Brasil – Qualifying – Saturday
Weather: FP3: overcast 21.8-19.4°C air, 44.5-32.3°C track; Q: overcast, 21.4-20.1°C air, 35.6-30.3°C track
There is no real glory on Saturdays. There can be the fleeting satisfaction of a good result, but no tangible reward comes out of qualifying. The second day of track action is a crucial one, but just as a building block: you lay the foundations for things to come on Sunday. That’s when it really matters.
Still, placing a car in Q3 (and one outside of it by a very small margin) is the kind of result that leaves a team optimistic for the remainder of this Brazilian Grand Prix weekend. Kimi Räikkönen delivered a clinical display when it mattered, clearing each hurdle on his way to ninth place – and a P8 start on tomorrow’s grid. On the track where he was crowned World Champion in 2007, Kimi showed his class. Antonio missed out on a place in the top ten for just 0.06s. On such a short track, in a crowded midfield, he pushed hard and gave it all, but in the end he ended up just short. Starting in P12 still gives him a great chance to make up places and return to the points.
Brazil is no stranger to eventful races. On such a congested track, strategy, pace and sheer luck all play a part, even if the weather does not intervene. Tomorrow’s showpiece event will be long and unpredictable: but the Alfa Romeo Racing team did all they could to give themselves the best chance for when the lights go out.
Frédéric Vasseur, Team Principal Alfa Romeo Racing and CEO Sauber Motorsport AG: “We can be satisfied with today’s work, but we cannot get too carried away. Sunday is when the points are given out and we have a lot of work ahead of us to maximise our starting position. We have done a good job today and our race pace looked positive in practice, so we can hope for a competitive race. We will do our homework tonight and come prepared to make the most of our opportunities tomorrow.”
Kimi Räikkönen #7:
Alfa Romeo Racing C38 (Chassis 06/Ferrari)
3rd practice: 11th / 1:09.619 (21 laps) / Q: 9th / 1:08.984 (20 laps)
“We can be happy with today’s result. The margins in the midfield are very close and you can make up a lot of places with just a small difference, but we will take P9 and see what we can do in the race tomorrow. I still feel we have margin for improvement, there is a lot more we can achieve but in the end you always want more. It’s hard to tell how the race will unfold but we will try to do a good job and bring home a good result on Sunday.”
Antonio Giovinazzi #99:
Alfa Romeo Racing C38 (Chassis 04/Ferrari)
3rd practice:8th / 1:09.462 (20 laps) / Q: 13th / 1:08.919 (14 laps)
“I knew I had a chance to be in the top ten, so I pushed very hard on my last lap of Q2. Unfortunately I spun and ended up missing the cut for just 0.06s. It is what it is, we knew the margins would be very small on such a short track but we still have a good chance to get in the points tomorrow. I was pleased with our race pace yesterday and we can choose our starting tyres, so hopefully we can make up a few places in the race.”