©AlfaRomeo

Alfa Romeo boss Frédéric Vasseur is expecting a challenging Austrian Grand Prix in which strategy will likely be crucial to ensure a run in the points for the Swiss outfit.

Kimi Raikkonen and Antonio Giovinazzi delivered to Alfa Romeo its best qualifying result so far in 2019, with the pair clocking in 7th and 8th but lining up P6 and P7 on Sunday’s grid thanks to Kevin Magnussen’s demotion.

Both Alfa’s drivers will launch their race on the soft compound tyre, like their top-ten rivals with the exception of Red Bull’s Max Verstappen and Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas.

“Having both cars in Q3 was our target for today and we can be satisfied about reaching it,” said Vasseur on Saturday.

“On such a short track the gaps were minimal and Kimi and Antonio were able to drive good, clean laps to claim our highest qualifying positions of the year so far.

“We will need to come up with a good strategy that allows both drivers to make the best of their starting positions: it’s going to be a challenging race but we are confident we can score a good result.”

©AlfaRomeo

For the second race in succession, Giovinazzi made the Q3 cut but the Italian also achieved in Austria his best qualifying performance to date.

“I am really pleased with today’s performance, both mine and of the team as a whole,” Gio said.

“Our car has made a step forward since France, I feel I am getting more and more confident every time I step in the car and I am happy with the work we are doing together with the team.

“Having two cars in the top ten gives us a good chance to score points, but we still need to work out the best strategy for the race.

“Our long run pace is good and I think we can play our part in tomorrow’s battle: we’ll be giving it all we have to bring home a good result.”

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