There were high expectations for 2020, with the addition of a new simulator and technical director: the promoted Jan Monchaux, bringing fresh impetus for the team.
But its hopes of disrupting AlphaTauri and Renault were laid low as Ferrari’s engine troubles became apparent. With the same engine powering Alfa, the team finished 2020 eighth, with eight points: 99 behind AlphaTauri in seventh.
Antonio Giovinazzi was arguably the invisible man on the grid; difficult to place at any point during the season, except for at Spa, where he spectacularly crashed out, taking George Russell’s Williams with him but missing Räikkonen who was close behind.
The one high point was Räikkkönen’s historic first lap at Portimao: the most remarkable of his record-breaking 332 grand prix starts.
He ended the first lap sixth after beginning in the 16th grid spot. Onboard footage shows him carving through the field with split-second precision, using his shrewdly chosen soft tyres.
From P16 to P6 😎
— Formula 1 (@F1) October 25, 2020
The euphoria didn’t last long though: 12th place was the best that Räikkönen could manage at the finish.
Alfa will be hoping that it was more a year of hibernation than regression and you don’t have to be a diehard Kimi fan to believe this is the case. After all, it wasn’t uncommon for the Alfas to be running with the Ferraris last year, suggesting that there was nothing wrong with the fundamental design; pace was limited by the engine.