After unveiling its 2021 Formula 1 car, the C41 on Monday, the Alfa Romeo Orlen team headed to Spain’s Barcelona track to give its 2021 challenger its track debut.
The Hinwil-based outfit took the cover off its brand-new C41 car on Monday during an online presentation. The Swiss-Italian outfit will field an unchanged driver line-up with Kimi Räikkönen and Antonio Giovinazzi set to race for a third season together. Despite the partial development freeze for 2021, the team has completed significant changes on its new car compared to its predecessor by introducing vital modifications to the front suspension, the nose cone and the front wing.
On Friday, the C41 took to the track for the first time at 09:32am at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya with Robert Kubica behind the wheel. The Polish driver has been retained by the team and continue to serve as the reserve and test driver.
The Krakow-born driver completed a series of installation laps at the beginning of the day with the engineers eager to perform all checks necessary to ensure the readiness of the car.
The team did not encounter reliability issues during the day on which Kubica completed a total of 29 laps, mostly on the short layout of the Catalunya-Barcelona circuit.
Music to our ears. 😍 pic.twitter.com/nKwjfF93Q6— Alfa Romeo F1 Team ORLEN (@alfaromeoorlen) February 26, 2021
“It’s always a special moment to be the first to drive a new car,” added Kubica. „Today’s focus was on making sure everything worked as planned and to ensure all systems were functional, so performance was not an objective, but the thrill of driving a car like this isn’t diminished.
„The car felt good and I am looking forward to driving it once again later in the season.”
Commenting on the first run with the new car, Frédéric Vasseur, Team Principal of the Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN team said: “Today’s work is a crucial step in our preparations for the season and I’m pleased to report the day went as planned.
„We were able to perform all the checks we set out to do and now we can focus on analysing these first bits of data and prepare for the next test in two weeks’ time.”