Alfa Romeo are aiming to help Kimi Raikkonen get out of his qualifying slump, after the Finn was knocked out in Q1 again at the Styrian Grand Prix.
Raikkonen has only made it out of Q1 on four occasions out of the eight races so far, with the veteran also being bettered by teammate Antonio Giovinazzi more often that not. While Raikkonen's races and racecraft remain strong, with the Finn ending up 11th and just a second behind the points places, Alfa Romeo's Xevi Pujolar explained the plan is to help him start races from higher up on the grid.
"With Kimi next week, we'll try a few things and see if we can bring him into Q2," Pujolar told select members of the media, including RacingNews365.
"Having both cars in Q2, I think that helps each other and we can make progress. For us, the target It will be first priority number one to be ahead of Williams in qualifying. And then hopefully we can do a race like we did today. Compounds will be one step softer next week, maybe changeable conditions also, but we'll try to be at least close to the top 10, then we can race in a different way."
Pujolar explained there's no fundamental difference in approach between the two Alfa Romeo drivers, with the setups and styles broadly similar. But the engineer believes that Raikkonen's tyre preparation may be where he's falling short.
"Both cars are pretty close together. It's just trying to see if we can help," he explained.
"It's all about gelling with the tyre preparation and out laps, if anything that we can find with some ideas and we'll try either setup or on the tyres.
"Yeah, that's the plan that will be to have both cars there and then you can have a better control of the race."
With Raikkonen the oldest driver on the grid and coming up to the end of his current contract after twenty years at the highest level of motorsport, Pujolar couldn't say whether the Finn has indicated a desire to continue into 2022 or not.
"I don't know what his plans are," he said.
"And I cannot discuss, I cannot say on that side but, up to today, I can tell you that the motivation and the work with the team is good. And if you see the race he did today, I would say that he is pushing."