Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN went so close to a deserved point at the 2021 Formula 1 United States Grand Prix in Austin, as Antonio Giovinazzi finished 11th and Kimi Räikkönen, who had been running in 10th place until a handful of laps to the end, closed the race 13th.
For the second race in a row, the team missed out by the smallest of margins on the reward for their efforts at the end of a gutsy, attacking race. Starting in P12 and P15 respectively, Antonio and Kimi had strong starts and settled in 11th and 12th as the race progressed through the drivers’ first stint. As the laps ticked down, Kimi, who had been nursing some damage after a clash with Fernando Alonso earlier in the race, deservedly rose to P10 and was defending from Sebastian Vettel when a spin in the “esses” section brought his resistance to an end.
Just as in Turkey two weeks ago, the team delivered a really strong race and would have deserved a tangible reward for their efforts. Despite the setback, there are plenty of positives to build on as we enter the final stretch of the championship, and we’ll be determined to turn our pace into top ten finishes as we return to racing in Mexico.
Kimi Räikkönen (car number 7):
The car felt really good, especially in the first part of the race, and we were able to fight in the top ten. Unfortunately, at the start of the second stint, I had a clash with Alonso and I got some floor damage: it didn’t really affect the balance of the car, but we seemed to run out of tyres a lot quicker afterwards. By the end of the race, I didn’t really have many rears left just as I tried to push hard to stay ahead of Sebastian [Vettel]. It is a shame not to bring home any point today: we always seem to be there or thereabout but it wasn’t to be this time.
Antonio Giovinazzi (car number 99):
It was a good race, with some nice fights along the way, in particular with Fernando [Alonso]. I tried to hold him back as much as I could but in the end, he was just faster: still, it is nice to be fighting with someone like him, a world champion. We went once again very close to the points, and probably the second stint is where we missed out as we couldn’t get those tyres to work well. We did a good job as a team, swapping places when Kimi when he could push more in that part of the race, and that very nearly paid off.
Frédéric Vasseur, Team Principal Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN:
The team would have deserved at least a point after a good race, and it’s obviously disappointing to see it slip from our hands so close to the chequered flag. We fought from lights to the line in the top ten or just outside it and this is very encouraging, even though in the end we have nothing to show it: we’ve been in this fight in the last few races and there is no reason to think we shouldn’t be there until the end of the season. Hopefully, we will be able to convert some of these chances into points as the pace is there to do a good job.