Kimi Raikkonen, Alfa Romeo, Bahrain International Circuit, 2021

Raikkonen: New Alfa Romeo already quicker than last year’s car, despite rules changes

2021 F1 season

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Kimi Raikkonen was encouraged by Alfa Romeo’s performance following a busy final day at the wheel of his Ferrari-powered C41 yesterday.

Despite new regulations intended to reduce how much downforce the cars generate and slow them down, Raikkonen says his new car is already quicker than the team’s 2020 machine.

Raikkonen covered 166 laps on Sunday, the highest one-day total of any driver during the three-day test. He set the fourth-quickest time of the test overall using the softest available C5 tyre compound.

Although Raikkonen said it was hard to draw conclusions about the car’s performance compared to their rivals, he feels the revised Alfa Romeo is a clear step forwards over its predecessor.

“It was a positive day,” he said. “We got all we came here for and now we just have to see where we are when we’re back here racing in two weeks.

“Times in testing don’t mean anything and, right now, we don’t know how all the other teams are performing. But we know how our car does, and feeling-wise, it is better than last year.

“I guess we are faster than at our best at the end of 2020, but whether that translate into a better performance in the races, that we will have to see.”

Raikkonen previously indicated Ferrari have improved their power unit, which had been a significant weakness for the Scuderia and its customer teams last year. Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto said yesterday his team is no longer at a disadvantage in terms of straight-line speed.

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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  • 16 comments on “Raikkonen: New Alfa Romeo already quicker than last year’s car, despite rules changes”

    1. I missed the incident between Sainz and Kimi in the last lap of testing. That looked quite “tension on track”

      1. That was very weird indeed. Carlos was on a fast lap (just 0.1 slower than the best time through S1) and probably thought Kimi would let him by before T10 or that Alfa would at least tell their driver that the Ferrari was coming very fast. Obviously, that didn’t happen and that’s why they came togehter (Carlos should’ve backed out of it though).
        The fact that they were fighting for position even after the incident was even stranger. What were they thinking?!

        1. @srga91 Maybe they were merely practicing for the races.

          1. Hopefully.
            Kimi did a race run following Leclerc, despite the wake Kimi was able to stick with Charles.
            My feeling is that we might see an overall improvement on last years Bahrain pace.

          2. nah, don’t bet on that… Alfa Romeo is quite faster than the Ferrari

    2. Their race runs looked very good, more consistent than any other car during the yesterday’s day session. In terms of raw pace, they might not have enough downforce compared to the other midfield teams which could hurt them in qualifying.
      Nevertheless it’s a big step forward for Alfa Romeo and I’d be very surprised if they don’t end up clearly ahead of Williams and Haas.

    3. I feel like 2008. The field is getting very close and there’s a regulation change for next year. It might help cars to follow one another but it might aswell stretch out the field, with one team understanding the rule switch better than any other, clearing the field by miles, like at the start of 2009.

      I was at Barcelona for pre-season testing and it was clear there was one superior car by the rules.

    4. Encouraging words.
      Assuming Williams have improved significantly, perhaps we will see a unique battle between Alfa romeo and Williams this year ? I feel these two are now ahead of Haas and Romeo probably more close to the midfield than ever before (track/condition specific).

    5. Good for them being faster this year.

      So the Alfa problem last year was too much negative lift, huh?

    6. If you want to improve a car, get Kimi.

      1. I reckon recruiting more/better engineers might help more.

    7. That front wing really is a thing of beauty!

    8. It’s not like they could get much slower..

    9. It’s crazy to be faster out of the box. Last year’s car must have been a dog then.

    10. I am not sur about the progression of Alfa Romeo… I think their drivers will be outperformed easly.

    11. i think kimmi has a good car this year and he will try very hard becasue he wants to go out with glory,

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