After a strong showing in Thursday practice, Kimi Raikkonen said his focus for the Monaco GP remains to simply be competitive.
The Swiss outfit have without doubt taken positive steps since last season, though four races into the 2021 campaign they are still without a point.
Monaco then represents a fine opportunity to bring that run to an end, and Alfa Romeo do appear to be in contention as Antonio Giovinazzi ended FP2 in P9.
Raikkonen meanwhile was very much knocking on the door of the top 10 in P11.
Raikkonen though is waiting until qualifying come Saturday to see where Alfa sit compared to their midfield rivals, meaning that the ability to be competitive is what matters to him at this stage.
“Today was okay, a straightforward day without big issues,” he said, as quoted by the Alfa Romeo website.
“So far, so good, but Saturday is where it matters. We can definitely still improve but so can the others, so we will need to extract all we can from the car and see where that puts us on Saturday.
“Conditions today were good, but we can’t be drawn into making comparisons with other weekends: this track is so unique. It doesn’t matter anyways, so long as we’re competitive!”
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Closing the first day of action in Monaco with a solid result in FP2 ??
GIO ➡️ P9
RAI ➡️ P11#MonacoGP pic.twitter.com/N6oUcTkCAo
— Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN (@alfaromeoracing) May 20, 2021
Giovinazzi was “really happy” with his opening day in Monaco, and now is focusing on maintaining that pace for qualifying.
“We need to be really happy with our Thursday,” he told reporters.
“FP1 was okay, we struggled a little bit with the balance, and then we improved in FP2, really happy with P9.
“We need to just keep this pace also on Saturday for qualifying, [that] will be really important, but good start to the weekend.”
Perhaps the only downside then for Alfa Romeo is the fact that Giovinazzi credits their solid performance to the “really unique” Monaco track, rather than anything specific which the team has done.
“I think it’s the track. Monaco we know that it is really unique, so it’s difficult to compare to the other tracks,” he said when asked if it was Monaco or Alfa Romeo behind the performance.
“So far we are happy with the car, still I think we can improve a little bit, but the pace was pretty good.”
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