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Raikkonen confident luckless Alfa Romeo "not miles off" in 'midfield scrap'

Raikkonen confident luckless Alfa Romeo "not miles off" in 'midfield scrap'

F1 News

Raikkonen confident luckless Alfa Romeo "not miles off" in 'midfield scrap'

Raikkonen confident luckless Alfa Romeo "not miles off" in 'midfield scrap'
GPFans Staff

Kimi Raikkonen is adamant Alfa Romeo's pointless start to the new F1 season is a poor reflection on the team's performances so far.

The team narrowly missed out on points in the season-opening race in Bahrain as Raikkonen and team-mate Antonio Giovinazzi finished 11th and 12th, with the former just half-a-second shy of a top-10 finish.

In Imola, Raikkonen was handed what appeared to be a ludicrous 30-second penalty for failing to return to his restart position after spinning behind the safety car.

With the penalty applied post-race, it dropped the Finn from ninth at the flag to 13th, while Giovinazzi was again a place behind in 14th, primarily due to an extra stop required to remove a tear-off visor lodged in a duct that had overheated the brakes.

Raikkonen, though, is convinced the team is better than the results have shown.

Ahead of the forthcoming double-header in Portugal and Spain, Raikkonen said: “Two more races mean two more chances to have a good result – something we went really close to in the opening events of the season.

"We are not miles off, we are right in the middle of this scrap and we can fight with anyone in the midfield if we do our job properly and we have a little luck, which we missed so far this season."

Team principal Fred Vasseur has also been left frustrated by the results, and is now eager to see justice served.

“We approach this back to back with the confidence of being able to have a good performance and the determination to make up for the circumstances that prevented us from scoring in the first two outings of the season," said Vasseur.

"We know we could have, and should have, had two cars in the points on merit last time out, but that is no consolation as the final result is all that matters.

"It is now time to turn performance into points. We know we need a spotless weekend to edge out the other teams in the midfield and we are determined to do just that.”

Raikkonen returns to a Portimão track that was the scene of his famous first lap in last year's race when he overtook 10 carsto rise from 16th to sixth.

Although conceding it was "a fun first lap", Raikkonen insists it will not be on his mind on his return this weekend.

"It doesn’t really matter how you start a race, but where you finish it and we need to finish it in the top 10 to achieve our objective,” asserted Raikkonen.

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