Fri. Oct 22nd, 2021

Kimi Raikkonen is hoping to provide Alfa Romeo with points as a birthday gift in Austria.

The Italian manufacturer celebrates its 111th birthday today [Thursday, June 24] ahead of this weekend’s Styrian Grand Prix, with the F1 team entering the event after failing to score for the first time in three races in France last time out.

Hoping for a return to form at the Red Bull Ring, 2007 world champion Raikkonen said: “Our focus is fully on Austria and not on what happened in France.

“We have learnt our lessons and we are now determined to do better. Austria is one of those tracks that looks easy but is not.

“It’s short and there are only a few corners where time can be gained or lost, which means each of them is crucial for the lap time.

“Managing the traffic, both in qualifying and in the race, will also be a key factor but, in the end, that will be the same for everyone.

“I hope we get to score points on this weekend, it’d be a nice birthday present for Alfa Romeo. In the end, we need to do a better job than our rivals and then we will have the chance to score points.”

Antonio Giovinazzi returns to the circuit that has given him two points finishes in three visits in his F1 career so far.

Aiming to add to the solitary point he has scored this season, he added: “Austria is a track I like, one where I have some good memories.

“I scored my first point there, in 2019, and in 2020 I brought home ninth place after a quite exciting race.

“I am keen to add to these moments and I am looking forward to racing there twice in two weeks.

“I find you can really get into a rhythm and build on each session and I feel you can really extract the most from yourself and the car.

“We have been doing better in most of the recent races and I can’t wait to get back in the fight for the top 10 on Sunday.

“Alfa Romeo’s 111th birthday is the extra bit of motivation we need to do well and we can’t wait to celebrate in style.”

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