PARIS – Former Formula One champion Kimi Raikkonen was stuffed with enthusiasm on Monday because the veteran racer’s Alfa Romeo group unveiled its new automotive for the approaching season.
The 41-year-old stated the following marketing campaign was a leap at midnight, but that the Italian group would profit from it.
“First of all it’s nice to see the new car,” Raikkonen stated on the launch in Warsaw.
“We are in an area of unknown, there’s some rule changes and how’s that going to impact everybody and where we are going to be,” added the veteran of effectively over 300 Grands Prix.
“Hopefully we are better off than we were last year and we’ll get some idea in testing in a couple of weeks, and in one month’s time in the first race we’ll really know where we are.
The Finnish driver, the 2007 F1 champion with Ferrari, would not speculate on results but promised top performances.
“We’ll do our greatest wherever we find yourself,” he said.
Raikkonen and his 27-year-old stablemate Antonio Giovinazzi came 16th and 17th last season with four points each.
Mountain to climb for 2022
Alfa Romeo will not develop its new Formula One car beyond the summer in order to give itself the best shot at a step up in 2022, technical director Jan Monchaux said on Monday.
With sweeping new rules next year and a budget cap now in place, the Swiss-based team cannot afford to spend time and money on improvements that may bring scant reward in terms of points.
“We’ve acquired a mountain to climb for 2022,” Monchaux told Reuters in a video interview after the online launch of the red and white C41 car in Warsaw’s Grand Theatre, the venue reflecting Polish sponsors Orlen.
“We’ve acquired to do a whole automotive, below the finances cap, and that could be a monster problem for a company like ours.”
Next year represents a real chance to reset the clock and return to the midfield, after finishing eighth for three years in a row.
The current cars are a close evolution of the 2020 ones with some aerodynamic tweaks, but 2022 marks a big change of direction with bigger 18-inch tyres also thrown into the equation.
“The extra time we spend on the ’21 (automotive), the much less useful resource we should make a great job on the ’22,” said Monchaux.
He said the team had been ‘carrying an anchor’ since 2017, when they raced as Sauber and finished 10th overall and as much as four seconds off the pace.
“If you begin a brand new period with such a deficit, it is merely recreation over,” he said. “So 2022, we won’t miss that deadline and I believe many of the groups can be pondering the identical.
“We won’t bring updates after the summer, that’s quite clear.
“You might need some individuals preventing for the title, they is perhaps prepared to push (growth) longer as a result of it is a distinctive alternative to be champion, but we’re definitely not going to do this.
“We will stop way earlier than in a normal season, also because of the budget cap.”
Reuters & Agence France-Presse