Giovinazzi apologises to Alfa Romeo for late Spa shunt
Antonio Giovinazzi was looking set to take his best-ever Grand Prix result of eighth after a fighting drive in the Belgian Grand Prix. That was until he crashed out of that position two laps from the end, to cap off a nightmare day for the team.
Alfa Romeo’s promising-looking weekend at Spa took a hit early on in Sunday’s Grand Prix when Kimi Raikkonen, starting from sixth on the grid, suffered damage after a coming together with Red Bull’s Max Verstappen that hobbled his car in the race, leaving him to come home a distant 16th.
In the other C38, however, Giovinazzi started 18th after a power unit failure in qualifying, but had incisively worked his way up to eighth with two laps remaining when he spun off dramatically at Pouhon, hitting the barriers and retiring from the race.
“The car has been really strong today and therefore it’s even more disappointing not to finish the race with an accident,” said the Italian. “Our strategy was great and we would have been in the points and for this I feel sorry for everyone in the team, but I guess that’s racing.”
The unfortunate races of both Giovinazzi and Raikkonen were enough to leave Alfa Romeo Team Principal Fred Vasseur decidedly unimpressed, on what had already been a difficult weekend for him following the death of Anthoine Hubert, a driver Vasseur’s ART team had run in GP3.
“Racing today was never going to be easy, given [Saturday’s] tragic circumstances,” said Vasseur.
“As for the race, it was an afternoon to forget: Kimi’s race was over within a few hundred metres from the start, when he was hit by Max Verstappen in a very optimistic move, and Antonio missed out on some good points with an accident in the last lap.”
Giovinazzi’s off adds to the mounting pressure on the Italian, with the 25-year-old having scored just one point so far this season. And with Alfa Romeo reserve driver Marcus Ericsson lurking on the sidelines, plus the experienced Nico Hulkenberg now dramatically back on the driver market and hungry for a drive, Giovinazzi will be looking to convert Alfa Romeo’s obvious pace into a strong result at his home Grand Prix at Monza next weekend.