Sunday, September 27, 2020

1 Racing Mind’s 2020 Formula 1 Mid-Season Team Report Card: Alfa Romeo Racing

Photo Credit: Mark Sutton LAT Images/Pirelli

Team Grade: C-

Driver’s Grade:

Kimi Raikkonen: C

Antonio Giovinazzi: C

Summary of First Nine Races:

The second year of competition for the organization formerly known as the Sauber F1 Team has been a less than fruitful venture. Alfa Romeo Racing debuted in 2019 as a consistent mid-field Formula 1 team equating to a reasonable level of success. 

In the first nine races last year, Alfa Romeo Racing’s two drivers scored a total of seven point finishes. Returning with Kimi Raikkonen (competing in his 20th full season in Formula 1) and 2016 GP2 championship runner-up Antonio Giovinazzi, the race team’s 2020 season was not initially viewed as a regression. The combined performance of the seasoned Finnish driver and younger Italian pilot has netted just four points so far in 2020 with the Alfa Romeo team. Both Alfa Romeo Racing drivers have posted a season-best finish of ninth place.

A large part of the speculation of Alfa Romeo Racing’s weaker performance in 2020 ties to the struggling Ferrari Formula 1 team. Alfa Romeo Racing receives engines, gearboxes and several other components from the major Italian sports car builder that serves to propel this year’s C39 race car. The Alfa Romeo C39 has not been a particularly fast machine reflected by season-long struggles in qualifying. During the first nine grand prix events, the team was only able to escape the initial Q1 qualifying session three times. 

Although both Alfa Romeo Racing drivers have posted an equal of points for the 2020 season, Kimi Raikkonen has been a stronger performer through most events. The Finnish competitor was responsible for all three Q2 appearances in qualifying and has finished ahead of his teammate Antonio Giovinazzi in seven of the nine Formula 1 rounds. Two of the past three grand prix events have ended in crash-related retirements for Giovinazzi including a dramatic accident in the Belgian Grand Prix.  

Prediction for Rest of the 2020 Season:

The Alfa Romeo Racing team has spent most of the 2020 Formula 1 season battling amongst the bottom three organizations. With a massive point gap between Alfa Romeo and Scuderia AlphaTauri, it’s unlikely that the team will climb any higher than eighth place in the constructors’ championship. However, recent races at Monza and Mugello have shown better performance signifying the potential for more top-10 finishes during the remaining eight races of 2020.

Both Kimi Raikkonen and Antonio Giovinazzi are on the hot seat with the team for the remainder of the 2020 races. Sergio Perez, Nico Hulkenberg and current F2 driver Mick Schumacher have been rumoured as possible pilots for the 2021 Alfa Romeo Racing team. 

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