Antonio Giovinazzi saw a promising weekend crumble away on the opening lap of the Italian Grand Prix last Sunday, with a clash with Charles Leclerc ending his chances of points.
The Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN driver had been strong all weekend at the Autodromo Nazionale Monza and was starting inside the top seven on Sunday after an impressive display not only in Qualifying on Friday but also the Qualifying Sprint race on Saturday.
However, it all fell apart on lap one after running wide through the second chicane and then colliding with Scuderia Ferrari’s Leclerc that pitched Giovinazzi into the barriers. He suffered a broken front wing in the incident, but the stewards also deemed him responsible for the crash and handed him a time penalty that ultimately left him outside the points in thirteenth at the chequered flag.
“It’s a pity to have such a strong weekend compromised by an incident in lap one,” said Giovinazzi. “I went a bit wide at the second chicane, jumped on the kerbs and then I had no control over the car. I need to see the pictures to fully understand what happened.
“After that, it was just a difficult race: I had damage to the floor and it was just very difficult from the back. It’s frustrating, especially knowing how our pace looked and where the cars that were around us finished.
“I wished for more for my home race in Monza.”
“Not as easy a race as we hoped” – Robert Kubica
Team-mate Robert Kubica, standing in for a second consecutive weekend for Kimi Räikkönen, also found his weekend compromised at the second chicane, although his misfortune came in Saturday evening’s Sprint Qualifying race after contact with Yuki Tsunoda.
This left the Polish driver towards the back of the field for the main race on Sunday, and although he was able to finish fourteenth, he did not have the same kind of pace his team-mate did throughout the weekend.
Kubica admitted he struggled with grip throughout the race, both on the hard and medium compounds, and it left him unable to stay close to the cars ahead of him as they battled for position.
“Not as easy a race as we hoped but, in the end, we got as much out of it as we could,” said Kubica. “My first lap was good – not a great launch, but the positioning was good and I gained three positions, despite being the only one besides Bottas with hard tyres.
“The grip was not great and I knew I had to protect the tyres, so I opened up a gap from Russell and hoped for the second part of the race, when the mediums would be an advantage.
“Even after the stops, though, I struggled to follow the cars in front – I could get close, but then I’d lose so much grip. In the end, I had some nice battles with Sebastian [Vettel] again before swapping places with Antonio and finishing 14th.”