Kimi Raikkonen is heading to this weekend’s Canadian Grand Prix with caution, saying not a lot has gone according to plan for Alfa Romeo in the opening six rounds of the 2019 Formula 1 season.

Raikkonen scored points in each of the first four races of the year, recording a best finish of P7 in Bahrain, but failed to reach the top 10 in Spain or Monaco last month.

Two races without points for Alfa Romeo has left the team a lowly ninth in the constructors’ championship, prompting Raikkonen to take any optimism for Canada with a pinch of salt.

“The track in Montreal should suit us, but to be honest, so far this season, not a lot went according to plan,” Raikkonen said in the team’s race preview.

“I hope we’ll get the tyres working and then we should be able to get the full potential out of the car.

“Ninth in the constructors’ championship is definitely not where we should be.”

Despite Raikkonen’s caution, Alfa Romeo team principal Frederic Vasseur was more upbeat about the team’s chances as it looks to jump back up the championship amid a close midfield fight.

“We are looking ahead to Montreal with confidence. The track layout should suit us and it is one that allows overtaking, which is something we struggled on previous tracks despite good race pace,” Vasseur said.

“With every race weekend, we gain understanding of our car and we learn how to unlock its pace, but executing a spotless race weekend is still the key.

“The midfield is so close, with only five points dividing fifth and ninth in the championship, so every mistake has a big price, but we know we can score points in Canada and move up in the standings.”

Raikkonen’s teammate, Antonio Giovinazzi, will race in Montreal for the first time this weekend as he bids to score his first points in Formula 1.

“I can’t wait to race in Montreal for the first time in my career. I’ve had two good weeks to charge my batteries, going to the Giro d’Italia and to the MotoGP in Mugello, and now I am pumped to get back in the cockpit,” Giovinazzi said.

“The circuit in Canada delivered plenty of interesting races in the past and it’s a place with good overtaking opportunities, so I am looking forward to a fun day on Sunday. Hopefully we can score the results we deserve.”



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