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A Strong Qualifying For Alfa Romeo

The Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN Formula One Team had a strong qualifying for Sunday’s Saudi Arabian Grand Prix with Antonio Giovinazzi starting the race from tenth while Kimi Raikkonen starts the race from 12th.

Speaking following qualifying, Giovinazzi said:

“It was a great qualifying and I had a lot of fun, the car today was just brilliant. We knew the medium tyres would be better and we showed just how good they were in Q2. The soft in Q3 weren’t as good and we struggled a bit more, it took us longer to get them in the right window, but tomorrow we will start on medium which is a positive. I could have improved even more on my Q2 lap but I had a little kiss with the wall on my final flying lap: thankfully I could still make it through. Starting in P10 with our preferred tyres, on a track like this, will be good and I can’t wait for the race. We had a strong weekend straight from FP1 and now we just need to keep this pace, maybe with a bit of the luck that has eluded us all season, to bring home a good result.”

Kimi Raikkonen was happy with his qualifying performance saying:

“It was a good performance, we were really close to making it to Q3 but it didn’t work out in the end. The last corner wasn’t that good and it cost us a little bit of time, but in the end what made the difference was that probably we should have stayed on the mediums for an extra lap. I wanted to try the soft tyres and it didn’t work. Still, we are in a good place to start: it’s hard to tell how the race will go, it will surely be important to be in the thick of it and we’ll give everything to bring home a good result.”

Frederic Vasseur, Team Principal of Alfa Romeo Racing and CEO of Sauber Motorsport AG said:

The team delivered a really good performance today, we achieved a good result and we were the closest we have been all year to having two cars in Q3. We capitalised on the strong start of our weekend, yesterday in practice, and went on to build on it. Both drivers were comfortable in their cars and delivered good laps, at the limit, when it mattered. Still, there are no points on offer today: we still have a long race ahead of us and we’ll need to make sure we maximise our chances tomorrow. Nobody knows how the race is going to shape up: it will be a very interesting evening, that’s for sure.

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A Solid Start For Alfa Romeo Racing

The Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN Formula One Team got off to a strong start on Friday in Saudi Arabia where Antonio Giovinazzi ended the opening session in fifth place with a time of 01:30.318s while in the second session the Italian ended up in 13th place with a time of 01:30.110s and speaking following the action, the Italian who took part in his first ABB FIA Formula E test earlier this week in Valencia commented saying:

“I really hit the ground running with this track, I had a great feeling and I am really happy about the day. I was a bit worried that, coming from a Formula E test, I’d be struggling to regain the feeling with this car and the pace, but that wasn’t the case. The car felt great from the start in FP1 and we can build on this for tomorrow. I had a good feeling in the quali runs in FP2 and we can make another step forward tonight. The track is really fast and fun and we were surprised by the amount of grip. When you have good grip on a street track, it’s really enjoyable – but we need to be focused as any small mistake can cost you a lot. I am looking forward to qualifying tomorrow, hopefully it’s going to be a strong day for us.”

Kimi Raikkonen in the second Alfa ended the opening session in 16th place with a time of 01:31.296s while in the second session the Iceman set the 14th fastest time with a time of 01:30.276s and speaking following the action he said;

“It was an interesting first day on this track. It’s a very fast circuit, lots of fast corners which means it will not be easy to overtake without a big speed differential. I say a lot of fast corners, but there’s a lot more of them on the map than what it feels in the car. Only about half of them are actual corners, most of them are flat out and may as well be straights! Sure enough, at least this circuit feels different from many others and it was quite ok to drive. Dealing with traffic in qualifying will be tricky, especially in the fast parts, but we’ll manage.”

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We Are Ready For The Final Stretch

Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN Formula One Team Principal Fred Vasseur says the team are ready for the final two races of the season starting with this weekend’s inaugural Saudi Arabian Grand Prix. Speaking ahead of the race, Vasseur said:

The team is ready as we enter the final stretch of the season. We head to Saudi Arabia with the curiosity that always occurs when a new track makes it to the calendar, and the confidence in our means as we aim to get back to scoring ways. Qatar was a bit of an outlier in which we didn’t have the same pace we showed after the summer break, but we know we can be back fighting for top ten placements on both Saturday and Sunday in Jeddah. As always, we will need to do a good job straight from FP1 to maximise our chances, but even more so on a completely new track: every minute will be crucial to gather information about the circuit, the tyres and every other factor that will have an impact on qualifying and the race.”

Frederic Vasseur

Kimi Raikkonen who is gearing up for his final two Grand Prix is looking forward to getting on the new track but is reserving judgement saying:

We are heading to another new track and, like last time out in Doha, preparing for the race in the most effective way will be crucial. The track looks fast and, as a street circuit, it’s a place where you need to be focused all the time: I am curious to drive it and won’t form an opinion about it until then. It’s going to be interesting and I don’t see any reason, if we do our job properly, why we wouldn’t be as competitive as we have been in the last few months. For sure, part of what will make or break a good result will be our readiness to make the most of the circumstances, but that’s not different from every other weekend

Kimi Raikkonen

Antonio Giovinazzi is also looking forward to the race this weekend, the Italian heads to Saudi Arabia having made his ABB FIA Formula E debut earlier this week during pre-season testing as he prepares to move to the series with Dragon Penske.

Speaking ahead of the race he said:

Two more races until the end of the season means two chances to have a good result to finish off the year with a smile. The last few weeks have been quite busy for me, but I find this keeps me focused and fired up for this weekend of racing. The track in Jeddah is a big question mark for everyone, nobody has raced on it so, in a sense, we are all starting from scratch here. It can be an opportunity for us and we’ll need to do our homework to make sure we give ourselves the best chance. It’s early to say if this layout will work well for us or not, but I want to think we can give a good account of ourselves.

Antonio Giovinazzi
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Alfa Romeo Racing Extend ORLEN Partnership

The Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN Formula One Team announced on Wednesday morning that they have extended their partnership with ORLEN, the Polish state oil refinery for a third consecutive season into 2022.

The news likely means that Robert Kubica will return as test and reserve driver alongside Valtteri Bottas and Guanya Zhou in 2022.

Alfa Romeo Racing tweeted:

Speaking about the announcement, Frédéric Vasseur, Team Principal of Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN commented saying:

We are delighted to extend our successful partnership with PKN ORLEN into its third year. ORLEN are an instantly recognisable brand in a vast and growing market and they have proven a loyal supporter of the team; their presence underlines and reinforces our resolve to be one of the most attractive teams in the sport for global brands. Most importantly, we share a commitment to constant improvement, whether on track or in their business, and we are determined to keep growing together. Their activation campaign has been of the first order, reaching fans all over Europe and expanding access to the team and the world of Formula One and we can’t wait to unveil the next stages in this programme.”

Daniel Obajtek, President of the Management Board of PKN ORLEN commented saying:

We operate globally and so we must be active in all areas, including planning marketing and sponsoring initiatives. The competition on the F1 track is broadcast by 99 televisions, and the total audience, according to research carried out by the Nielsen studio, reaches as many as 400 million viewers. The media equivalent for the ORLEN brand from TV broadcast only until November 2021 amounted to over PLN 550 million. Therefore, involvement in cooperation with Robert Kubica and the Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN team is a strategic investment for us. As a company with an international reach, we have successfully built a common platform for conducting marketing activities in many markets in which we conduct our business. This paid off, the ORLEN Group recorded a net profit of PLN 2.9 billion in the third quarter of 2021 and increased its market share in Slovakia and the Czech Republic.