‘Finally a bit of luck’ says points-scoring Giovinazzi as Raikkonen explains clash with former team mate Vettel
Alfa Romeo picked up two points in Saudi Arabia thanks to Antonio Giovinazzi, but team mate Kimi Raikkonen had to settle for 15th after colliding with former team mate Sebastian Vettel late on.
In his penultimate F1 race before moving to Formula E, Giovinazzi said that he finally had luck on his side after avoiding chaos and timing his tyre swap with the first red flag of the race. From P10, he finished ninth for his second points finish of the season – the Italian’s first since Monaco.
“Finally a little bit of luck!” said Giovinazzi. “But since FP1 we’ve been really fast you know: P5 in FP1, then FP2, FP3 [was] a little bit worse. Then qualifying and the race again, the pace was there, and I’m really happy with this, at the start we gained positions so yes, just happy.
He added: “[It feels] great, great, because it was a long time ago in Monaco and we were so many times so close but never happening, so today I was happy. Overall, it was a great weekend for myself, qualifying yesterday, the race, the restart was good, we gained positions, we were most of the race in front of the Ferrari but then in the end they were just too quick. But yes, happy with P9, happy for myself too as I needed [it] and now one more to go until the end. I’m really happy for today.”
Raikkonen on the other hand qualified 12th and finished last of the 15 finishers, his race jeopardised on Lap 26 when he had to pit following a collision with Aston Martin driver Vettel, whom he was battling for P11.
“I overtook him kind of in the first corner, went a little bit wide there and then we end up going side by side… My intention was to stay on the track and try and go around the outside but I don’t know, maybe he thought we were both going to go straight. I don’t know is what it is. That ruined my race completely, there was no way back from there,” said the veteran.
“Obviously it was quite hectic restart and the first laps, I think I was not too bad, obviously took some damage and obviously when you lose a lot of positions here it’s not that easy to overtake,” he added.
Raikkonen readies himself for his final F1 race in Abu Dhabi, having taken 10 points this season – most recently scoring with a P8 finish in Mexico.