For the first time since the opening race of the season, Antonio Giovinazzi returned to the points on Sunday, although the Italian feels the late safety car denied him a better finish than he ultimately achieved at the Nürburgring.
The Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN driver scored the final point on offer in tenth, but Giovinazzi felt at least eighth was a possibility but for the safety car, which was called because of Lando Norris retiring at the side of the road.
Giovinazzi lost positions to both Romain Grosjean and Nico Hülkenberg due to the safety car, although he was able to keep hold of tenth despite late race pressure from Sebastian Vettel.
“I am very happy with today’s performances, both mine and the car’s,” said Giovinazzi. “We did a very good race, keeping good pace from start to finish.
“We knew everything was going to be possible on such a day and that we could fight in these circumstances, so I am happy to bring home a point. I had another great start, making up a few places, then we managed the tricky conditions pretty well.
“I think we could and should have finished a bit higher, in P8, but the last Safety Car really hurt us as we lost places to Hulkenberg and Grosjean. In the end, though, finishing in the top ten was the target and we did it. It’s a good confidence boost ahead of the next few races.”
“We knew we’d have a difficult job on our hands” – Kimi Räikkönen
Team-mate Kimi Räikkönen’s afternoon was much more complicated, with a time penalty handed out to him for causing a collision with George Russell that ultimately saw the Williams Racing driver retire with a broken suspension.
Räikkönen, who set a new record for race starts in Formula 1 when he started his three hundred and twenty-third race on Sunday, battled hard with the midfield but ultimately was unable to break into the top ten, finishing down in twelfth.
“It wasn’t the greatest weekend, but after yesterday we knew we’d have a difficult job on our hands,” admitted Räikkönen. “The start of the race was ok, but then I had to avoid some cars ahead of me and I lost a lot of places.
“We could have been a bit ahead, but the Safety Car cost us a few position and the end result wasn’t great. It was a frustrating weekend, but we have to leave it behind us and try again next time.”
“Scoring a point is always a positive result” – Frédéric Vasseur
Frédéric Vasseur, the Team Principal of Alfa Romeo, says the team did an ‘excellent’ job at the Nürburgring to score points for only the third time in 2020, and he felt they scored a point ‘on merit’.
Vasseur feels the positive result in the Eifel Grand Prix will give the team confidence for the rest of the season as they bid to add to the five points they’ve acquired so far in the opening eleven races.
“Scoring a point is always a positive result, but what is even more important is the way in which we have scored it,” said Vasseur. “The team did an excellent job today, showing grit in difficult conditions and being ready to take the chances that we had along the way.
“We fought on merit with the cars we had around us, we kept behind a driver the calibre of Vettel despite the pressure he applied on Antonio for pretty much the whole of the race and we put in some good overtakes. The only regret is with that late Safety Car: we could have been on course for a double-points finish, but the shuffling of the positions it created meant we lost some ground with too little time to make it up.
“Still, to finish in the top ten for the second time in three races is a positive on which we can build for the rest of the season.”