Raikkonen looking to make the most of ‘chaotic’ Baku

Kimi Raikkonen. Picture: Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN

Kimi Raikkonen is eager to keep Alfa Romeo’s newfound momentum going when Formula 1 heads to the streets of Baku this weekend.

Marking the sixth round of the 2021 season, the Azerbaijan Grand Prix falls a fortnight after Alfa Romeo claimed its first points finish of the season in Monaco via Antonio Giovinazzi.

Since joining the annual calendar in 2016, Baku has frequently provided action-packed grands prix and subsequently mixed-up results.

Having been on the fringe of the top 10 on several occasions this year, Raikkonen is readying himself for the chance to swoop should an opportunity present itself on Sunday.

“It’s nice to see the team getting stronger with each race and I hope this weekend can be a good one for us,” said the 2007 world champion.

“Races in Baku can be very chaotic and it’s always a good chance to get a good result if we do our job properly.

“We know what we have to do – get the most from every session, from Friday to Sunday: we have shown we can battle with everyone in the midfield so let’s see how it goes.”

Alfa Romeo team principal Frederic Vasseur noted the psychological boost that Giovinazzi’s 10th place in Monaco had provided his team.

“Breaking our duck and scoring a point in Monaco has been important, mostly from the psychological side, as we finally had a weekend where bad luck didn’t hamper our progression,” said Vasseur.

“We still feel a bit of disappointment as we know we could have finished even higher up the road, but this just shows how much potential we still have.”

Giovinazzi, 27, described Baku as one of his favourite tracks.

“I have some very good memories here from my time in GP2 and I had a strong Saturday when I first came here in F1, in 2019,” said the Italian.

“I had my first Q3 on that day and I would love a repeat performance this weekend.

“Getting a point on the board last time out in Monaco was a good result, even more so when we think about how strong we looked.

“We are confident we can carry over this form here and continue to reap the results of the progression we have made.”

Opening practice for the Azerbaijan Grand Prix will begin at 18:30 AEST tomorrow.

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