ALFA-ROMEO - USGP - Friday Notes
2019 FIA Formula One Emirates United States Grand Prix – Practice – Friday
Weather: FP1: sunny, 13.0-12.7°C air, 22.5-21.8°C track; FP2: sunny, 15.5-16.9°C air, 24.2-24.3°C track
We can’t tell which was the last official session of a Formula One World Championship race to dip into the single digit temperatures – nor whether such an occurrence ever happened. All we know is that today was cold – really cold.
Austin has treated us to rain before – lots of rain – but our trips to Texas were usually a warm and temperate affair. T-shirt weather, effectively: nothing like the beanie hat and mittens-inducing cold spell of this week. And yet, here we are, seeing scenes we are more accustomed to in pre-season testing: mechanics hugging tyre warmers; scarves being deployed liberally; even the odd puffer jacket.
There are perfectly suitable meteorological reasons for this, of course, a logical explanation for this unexpected cold front. But these wouldn’t make a good story. It was Hallowe’en last night, after all, and a brief walk on Sixth Street in Downtown Austin would have presented an interested observer with a wide collection of ghosts, ghouls, demons and witches. Could one of them have been the instigator of this freeze?
A hex on the US Grand Prix weather is a fanciful story, of course. But if we are to live with this cold spell, let us at least imagine it to be a way more interesting kind of spell…
Kimi Räikkönen (car number 7):
Alfa Romeo Racing C38 (Chassis 06/Ferrari)
1st practice: 13th / 1:35.854 (22 laps) / 2nd practice: 16th / 1:35.387 (34 laps)
“It wasn’t a bad start for our weekend. The cold wasn’t as bad as it had been in the last few days and in the end it is the same for everyone. We have a better feeling overall after the first two sessions. True, the laptime is not where we want it to be yet, but the real test to see where we are is tomorrow.”
Antonio Giovinazzi (car number 99):
Alfa Romeo Racing C38 (Chassis 04/Ferrari)
1st practice: 15th / 1.36.037 (26 laps) / 2nd practice: 10th / 1:34.839 (29 laps)
“We finish the day with the tenth time and that’s not too bad. Our laps on soft tyres were ok and that gives me confidence we can be competitive. It was the first time for me here, so I took a few laps to understand the track: the surface is very bumpy and that adds a challenge, but I got in a good groove quickly. We still have some work to do tonight to make sure we have the car we need for qualifying, but we can be happy with the work we have done today. I am looking forward to tomorrow.”
About Sauber Group of Companies: The Sauber Group of Companies is composed of three entities – Sauber Motorsport AG, which operates the Formula One team – Sauber Engineering AG, which focuses on prototype development and additive manufacturing – and Sauber Aerodynamik AG, which conducts full- and model-scale testing in the factory’s state-of-the-art wind tunnel and creates ground-breaking innovations in the field of aerodynamics. The companies collaborate closely to apply the expertise of 520 dedicated individuals at the headquarter in Hinwil, Switzerland, to all internal and external projects. Since its founding in 1970, the passion for racing has been at the heart of Sauber.
For over 45 years, the innovative Swiss company has been setting standards in the design, development and construction of race cars for various championship series, such as Formula One, DTM, and WEC. Following its own Formula One debut in 1993, Sauber Motorsport AG has established one of the few traditional and privately held teams in the sport. After 25 years of competition in Formula One, the company launched a long-term partnership with Title Sponsor Alfa Romeo in 2018 and enters the 2019 championship under the Team name Alfa Romeo Racing.
Tom has been a contributor to RIS since 1992, and has covered IndyCar, Formula 1, NASCAR, Grand-Am, ALMS and the 24 Hours of Le Mans. In addition to his RIS work, Tom has been a contributor for General Motors, Nissan, Toyota and the ACO.