Giovinazzi explains Lap 1 crash at Monza as he fails to convert top 10 grid slot into points finish again
It’s been two consecutive top-10 starts for Alfa Romeo’s Antonio Giovinazzi but the Italian was far from happy leaving Monza, as his hopes for a points-finish crumbled on Lap 1.
It’s been two consecutive top-10 starts for Alfa Romeo’s Antonio Giovinazzi, and two failures to convert promising grid slots into points. And the Italian was far from happy leaving Monza, as his hopes for a points-finish crumbled on Lap 1.
After starting seventh, contact with Carlos Sainz on the opening lap of the Italian Grand Prix was the pivotal moment of Giovinazzi’s race, as the resulting spin, damage – and a five-second penalty – left him 13th at the chequered flag. Add to that the disappointment of his Dutch GP, where Giovinazzi made contact with Fernando Alonso then picked up a puncture to finish 14th, and it’s no wonder the driver cut a frustrated figure at Monza.
He explained: “It’s a pity to have such a strong weekend compromised by an incident in Lap 1. 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.”
The Alfa Romeo driver also picked up a five-second penalty in the Italian GP, for unsafely re-joining the circuit just before making contact with Sainz.
Asked if it was a disappointing outcome, he replied: “For sure. And definitely, for what happened in the race. Could be a good race, but they’re like this.“
With Giovinazzi under pressure as his seat hasn’t been guaranteed for 2022, with Alfa Romeo yet to announce their full line-up for next season, points could serve the 27-year-old very well at this point of the season.
Team Principal Frederic Vasseur lamented another point-less race with Robert Kubica finishing 14th in place of Kimi Raikkonen, the soon-to-be-retiree missing the Italian GP for a positive Covid test outcome before the Dutch GP.
“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. The performance in qualifying and in the sprint had put us in a great position, with the pace to fight the cars around us,” he said.
“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 10, until Sunday, where we were caught in the circumstances and had to settle for a finish outside the points,” said Vasseur.