Frédéric Vasseur admits it was disappointing for the Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN team to leave the Italian Grand Prix weekend empty handed after Antonio Giovinazzi and Robert Kubica ended thirteenth and fourteenth in Sunday’s race.
Giovinazzi had shown good pace throughout the weekend at the Autodromo Nazionale Monza and had started the Grand Prix inside the top ten, but a mistake at the second chicane and a subsequent collision with Charles Leclerc as the duo fought over sixth place ended his chances of points.
The Italian was forced to pit at the end of lap one with a damaged front wing after contact, not only with Leclerc, but also the wall, and a subsequent time penalty from the stewards for the clash left him languishing at the back of the field. He ultimately ended thirteenth.
Team-mate Kubica struggled for grip during the race and was unable to threaten the top ten as he raced in place of Kimi Räikkönen for a second consecutive weekend, with the Pole ending fourteenth, just behind Giovinazzi.
“We showed really good pace this weekend, so it’s disappointing to leave the track empty-handed after a race heavily compromised on the opening lap,” said Vasseur, the Team Principal at Alfa Romeo. “The performance in qualifying and in the sprint had put us in a great position, with the pace to fight the cars around us.
“Unfortunately, a collision on lap one compromised Antonio’s race and even a Safety Car could not put us back into the points.
“Robert had a good race, making up some ground at the start and in the first lap, which went a long way to recover after the problems in qualifying. He battled well and played the team game in the end.
“All in all, it’s an opportunity lost for the team as our pace was good and the weekend had looked great, consistently in the top ten, until Sunday, where we were caught in the circumstances and had to settle for a finish outside the points.”