Kimi Raikkonen seems in acceptance of a costly deletion of his Q1 time at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix due to track limits.
On his final flying lap Raikkonen set a time good enough in his Alfa Romeo at that moment to get himself out of the elimination zone, but just as he could start thinking up a Q2 strategy the stewards deleted his lap time for exceeding track limits, meaning he was ultimately eliminated.
Raikkonen will now start the race from P18 though he was certainly not the only driver to have a lap deleted, the likes of Alex Albon were left confused as to why the FIA decided to change what they defined as the limit of the Imola track during the day.
As Albon said, “just put gravel in and we’ll be fine”, but Raikkonen accepts that track limits are here to stay so it’s time for everyone to get used to it.
Asked by reporters after the session if he had indeed breached track limits, Raikkonen replied: “Looks like it, but obviously I know they changed it from the morning and I guess they’re seeing what is the kerb differently, but like it or not it’s not going to change anymore.”
Raikkonen pulled off a sensational opening lap at the previous round in Portugal, and after admitting that Imola looks like one of the tracks where the field is bunched close together, maybe there is a chance he can repeat that masterclass.
“I think there are certain tracks every year where it’s very tight between everybody,” he said.
“And that’s how it seems to be here.”
It was close, but we didn’t quite make it to Q2. We'll be back tomorrow to give it our best shot.
RAI 👉🏻 P18
GIO 👉🏻 P20 #ImolaGP pic.twitter.com/mJeemWHfYx
— Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN (@alfaromeoracing) October 31, 2020
Raikkonen’s team-mate Antonio Giovinazzi is set to start the Emilia Romagna GP from the back of the grid and he felt there was more performance in his Alfa Romeo.
“I think our potential today was much better,” he admitted.
“The first run was quite okay, we were on [target] for Q2 and the last lap I was just compromised from traffic, it was not a clear lap.
“Unfortunately it’s a tricky track with the traffic.
“Tomorrow, from last weekend just do better.”
Raikkonen and Giovinazzi were of course announced as Alfa Romeo drivers again for 2021 on Friday, and in Giovinazzi’s case his consistent ability to make up places at the start of a race may well have been a crucial factor in the team’s decision to keep him.
So, does the Italian have a solid race car underneath him for his third home race of the season?
“Unfortunately today we had an issue at the beginning of the session so I did just a few laps on high fuel, so it’s difficult to know how it will be,” he explained.
“But we will do our best.”
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