"Not a surprise" Alfa are struggling in second half of season

23-10-2019 12:07
by Nicolás Quarles van Ufford
Not a surprise Alfa are struggling in second half of season

Former Formula 1 driver Mika Salo has said he's not surprised by the dip in form from fellow countryman Kimi Raikkonen and his team Alfa Romeo Racing, as the former Sauber driver explained smaller constructors tend to struggle more as seasons progress.

Although they're not in the team name anymore, Alfa Romeo are still a joint team with Sauber. Salo drove at Sauber back in 2000, leaving the team by the end of the year to be replaced by then rookie Raikkonen.

This season, Raikkonen returned to Sauber (technically) and started the season off brightly, scoring good points in most races before the summer break. He even led the midfield for the first few races.

However, the 2007 world champion's form has been nowhere near there recently, as he's yet to score a point since Hungary. 

"It's not a surprise, to be honest," Salo responded to Ilta Sanoma when speaking on Kimi and Alfa's recent struggles.

"Smaller constructors simply struggle more at the end of seasons. I pushed as much as I could in that Sauber [in 2000], but there was just nothing left by the end of the year and no new updates came anymore."

Much like Raikkonen, Salo went from Ferrari to Sauber, with Salo scoring two podiums in 1999 when he replaced the injured Michael Schumacher. He would be a Grand Prix winner but for a team order to let teammate Eddie Irvine past.

Salo also thinks Alfa's current issues are the consequence of a big departure from the team earlier.

"The loss of [Alfa's technical director] Simone Resta is noticeable too in development and it'll be more noticeable in 2020."

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