Formula 1

Giovinazzi Ignoring Team Orders Might have Cost Alfa Romeo Shot at Points in Turkey – Pujolar

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Credit: Xavi Bonilla / DPPI

Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN could have scored points during Sunday’s Turkish Grand Prix had Antonio Giovinazzi obeyed team orders to allow team-mate Kimi Räikkönen through late in the race, according to head of track engineering Xevi Pujolar.

Giovinazzi ended eleventh and Räikkönen twelfth after the Italian failed to allow the Finn ahead despite the 2007 World Champion showing better pace at the time of the call.

Less than a second separated Giovinazzi from tenth placed Esteban Ocon at the chequered flag, with Räikkönen ending up on his tail, which makes it even more painful for Alfa Romeo, who currently sit ninth in the Constructors’ Championship with just seven points to their name.

“We asked to swap positions but then at this point Antonio was starting to pick up the pace and he himself decided that he wanted to stay ahead,” Pujolar said on Formula1.com. “Maybe that situation is a couple of laps that we potentially could have been faster as a team. Then it was just one more lap to catch Ocon.

“For sure for the team it was not ideal. I did not understand very well why we could not swap at this point because also then when you have got both cars at the end we can change it back depending on the situation.

“It’s important to achieve the points, looking at how Kimi’s pace was strong at the time.”

“Finishing in P11 and P12 is always frustrating” – Frédéric Vasseur

Frédéric Vasseur, the Team Principal at Alfa Romeo, admits it was frustrating not to have brought home points from the Turkish Grand Prix, even if both drivers showed good pace in challenging conditions throughout the event.

Vasseur felt the team ran out of laps to break into the points despite the pace of both C41-Ferrari’s being amongst the best in the field, with Giovinazzi getting extremely close to the top ten on the final lap.

“The team had a very strong race, with good pace and both drivers keeping ahead of Ricciardo, Russell, Alonso and others on merit,” said Vasseur.  “After yesterday’s challenging qualifying, we made a good start with both cars and that set us up for a shot at the points.

“The conditions out there were not the easiest but both drivers kept their cool and gradually closed in to the top ten: in the end, we were among the fastest cars on track and could pass Ricciardo, but we were just one lap short from catching and passing Ocon for the final point.

“Finishing in P11 and P12 is always frustrating, we were close to making it two races in the points in a row, but we will take this as an encouragement ahead of Austin.”

Antonio Giovinazzi kept Kimi Räikkönen behind him despite team orders asking him to let the Finn passed – Credit: Xavi Bonilla / DPPI
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