Formula 1

Antonio Giovinazzi Critical of Nikita Mazepin after Qualifying Drama at Imola

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Credit: Florent Gooden / DPPI

Antonio Giovinazzi was critical of Nikita Mazepin after Qualifying for the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix on Saturday after the Italian felt the Russian driver ended his chances of advancing into Q2.

The Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN driver believed he had the pace in the car to at least make it out of Q1, but he was unhappy with the way Uralkali Haas F1 Team driver Mazepin passed him on track just before he was starting his lap.

It means Giovinazzi was unable to attack for his final lap, leaving him down in seventeenth position.  While not against the rules of Formula 1, Mazepin’s actions were criticised by the Italian who now has all the work to do in order to be in contention for points on Sunday afternoon.

“It’s very disappointing not to get the chance to even set my final lap because of what happened today,” said Giovinazzi.  “Drivers normally respect each other on track but that was not the case today – Mazepin just failed to leave the space to the car ahead that all other drivers always give and destroyed my lap.

“I haven’t spoken with him yet, but this is not the behaviour we expect from each other on track. It’s a shame as the pace we had in the car yesterday was really good and we could have got a good result here: we will see what we can do tomorrow, but starting from P17 is not ideal as it’s quite hard to overtake here.

“We still go out, be positive and try to get the best possible result – we scored points from the back of the grid in 2020 so we won’t give up yet.”

“We knew from the morning we were going to struggle” – Kimi Räikkönen

Team-mate Kimi Räikkönen will start sixteenth, missing out on making it into Q2 by the slender of margins, and the Finn admitted it was a surprise to them to be eliminated at the first hurdle.

Like Giovinazzi, Räikkönen admits there will be plenty of work to do to be in points contention come Sunday afternoon, and he hopes the weather can help them move forward.

“We missed out on a place in Q2 by just a tenth, but when the margins are so close that’s enough to be out earlier than expected,” said Räikkönen.  “We knew from the morning we were going to struggle, there was nothing wrong specifically but we just lost a bit of the pace we had yesterday.

“Tomorrow we will have a big job to get back in the points: a lot will depend on the weather, whether it rains or not. Judging by yesterday, we seem to be stronger in race trim but overtaking is not easy around here: we will do our best and see what we can get out of this race.”

Kimi Räikkönen will start sixteenth on Sunday – Credit: DPPI
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