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Alfa Romeo Racing: Belgian GP Friday Practice – ‘wasn’t the most straightforward day’

Stepping stones under the Belgian clouds

2020 FIA Formula One Belgian Grand Prix – Practice – Friday
Weather: FP1: overcast, 16.1-16.1°C air, 21.7-21.5°C track; FP2: overcast, 16.8-18.4°C air, 23.5-25.0°C track

A dry day in Spa is somewhat of a rarity, but precipitation held off on the Ardennes on Friday, letting teams go on with their work during the first day of on-track action. It wasn’t the most straightforward day for Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN, a small issue with Antonio’s power unit keeping car #99 marooned in the garage for the first session; it was, however, a productive day nonetheless, with the team managing to adapt the afternoon programme to catch up on lost time.

Placement in the low teens for both sessions is a good sign, although Fridays are never a solid indication of what the rest of the weekend harbours. The objective remains the same – making progress to be able to fight for a place in the top ten come Sunday. There’s no silver bullet, but a time-honoured recipe for it: lots of hard work, an evening spent crunching numbers and the need to put together a good lap in qualifying – no small feat on a circuit like Spa-Francorchamps…

Kimi Räikkönen (car number 7):
Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN C39 (Chassis 05/Ferrari)
1st practice: 13th / 1:45.704 (19 laps) / 2nd practice: 14th / 1:44.896 (23 laps)

“It has been a relatively straightforward Friday for me. As always, there are still many things to improve but the feeling is that if we put everything together, we can be a bit more competitive. It’s still very early in the day, we need to build on what we did today and see where we are tomorrow when it matters.”

Antonio Giovinazzi (car number 99):
Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN C39 (Chassis 04/Ferrari)
1st practice: 20th / no timed lap (2 laps) / 2nd practice: 13th / 1:44.861 (29 laps)

“Missing out on FP1 was not ideal, but we made good progress in the afternoon so we made up some of the ground we missed. I felt good in the car and, when you do, everything becomes easier, so I am happy now. Hopefully we can find some more performance tonight and see where we stand tomorrow. The weather is still a big question mark for the race, but for now our focus is firmly set on qualifying. My target is to make it to Q2 for the first time in the season.”

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