The inaugural Tuscan Grand Prix last weekend was pre-empted with some very high expectations- and it certainly lived up to them.
After a chaotic race of attrition which saw first lap crashes, main straight drama and two red flag periods, fans are pleading to retain Mugello for upcoming seasons.
The race consisted of a whopping three standing-starts, and one of these starts in particular gave Kimi Räikkönen the insatiable opportunity to bring home his and his team’s first points of the 2020 FIA Formula 1 World Championship. In his third and final run from the grid, the iceman lunged into the top ten and managed to harness his wealth of experience to stay in such positions.
Although he was handed a five-second penalty for a pit-lane infringement post-race, Räikkönen retained his position and brought home two points for Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN, much to the delight of the team.
On the other side of the garage, however, Italian Antonio Giovinazzi was caught up in a hugely dramatic pit-straight crash after the safety car restart, in which multiple cars were involved. The impact sent the Italian airborne and he was understandably unable to continue running.
Mixed fortunes, but all in all a good result
Team Principal Frédéric Vasseur experienced mixed emotions throughout the race, but in hindsight he believes the team maximised the result after early disappointment.
“A very good result to get back in the points, although there still is the feeling we could have achieved more with a cleaner race.” He announced.
“It was a very tough afternoon in which many things didn’t go in our favour, and to bring home a top ten finish shows the strength and resilience of this team. To see a big chunk of floor and a front wing come off Kimi’s car before the first lap was over and to lose Antonio from the race at the restart were big blows, but we dug deep and did all we could to turn the weekend around.“
Vasseur concluded to praise the team’s progress and highligh the positive steps the team are taking.
“We are definitely going in the right direction and we can take a lot of motivation from [the] result.”
“Despite the issues, we still brought home some important points”
In Kimi’s own words: ‘It was far from the perfect execution of a race’, but it didn’t need to be. After his hard work and determination, Räikkönen secured a very necessary two points which stand Alfa Romeo in good stead following a tough start to the season. The Finn wishes the race would’ve been smoother for his own sake, but is also happy about the result and his first points on the board for 2020.
“It was definitely not the smoothest of races but we finally managed to bring home some points, so we can be pleased about that.”
“It was far from the perfect execution of a race but, despite all the issues, we still brought home two important points. It’s still a bit of a shame as we have made some good progress and I think we could have finished even higher with a cleaner afternoon, but hopefully we will carry the performance to the next few events.”
Giovinazzi: “It’s really frustrating to end a race without having really raced a single lap”
Whilst his race was sadly short-lived, Antonio Giovinazzi admits he is ‘happy for the team scoring points’.
The Italian driver was caught up in a terrifying crash at the first restart which rendered him out of the race, and although he is evidently annoyed, he is thankful nobody was injured.
“I had made another good start, climbing to P14: I felt at ease in the car and who knows how the race could have gone. “
“There’s not much I can say about the crash except that it was a very dangerous situation. Everyone around me was already up at full speed, but suddenly there was [Kevin] Magnussen almost stopped in the middle of the track. [Nicholas] Latifi avoided him but I just didn’t have the time – I tried to, but clipped his rear left.”
Giovinazzi concluded: “Thankfully, nobody got injured but it was a very dangerous crash. With such a long straight, this was always going to be an issue and we have to think on how to avoid this situation happening again in the future.”