Restart collision ruined our Bahrain GP, say Alfa Romeo’s Raikkonen and Giovinazzi
When there are opportunities on offer in a dramatic race, the last thing Alfa Romeo need is for their two drivers to come together, but that’s exactly what happened in Bahrain.
Both Antonio Giovinazzi and Kimi Raikkonen failed to make it out of Q1 on Saturday but the Italian had a good start, running just outside the top 10 before the red flag came out for Romain Grosjean’s accident. Team mate Kimi Raikkonen was less fortunate and picked up damage, but the interruption allowed Alfa Romeo to fix it – before an incident on the restart saw the two drivers touch and ruin the Finn’s race.
“We got some damage on the right front side at the first start but they managed to fix it pretty well,” Raikkonen said. “For the second start, I got a pretty good start and went to the right, but Antonio didn’t see me and he came the same way I was [going]. There was a wall there, so I couldn’t do anything, so that damaged the front wing and the left-hand side of the floor. That was pretty much it.
“The car was OK every time there were new tyres, for a few laps, but with the damage they would just fall off quick. Not much more to say.”
Giovinazzi felt he made two strong starts but was left a little surprised with the grid slot he was given for the race resumption, having been 11th when the red flag came out.
“I made a great start and made up a lot of positions before the red flag – I was 11th, but was brought back to P14 at the restart,” Giovinazzi said. “I was quite happy with the car I think we just did the wrong strategy. To stay with the one-stop was just difficult in the end, then we changed tyres under the Safety Car but there was no restart so it was just the wrong strategy.”
Given Raikkonen was calm about how the contact between the two cars happened, Team Principal Frederic Vasseur also saw the incident as unfortunate rather than one that could have been avoided by his drivers.
“It was an unlucky night in which we had any opportunity of a good result taken away from us by a few unfortunate circumstances,” Vasseur said. “Antonio’s great launch was nullified by the red flag and Kimi’s race came undone as he suffered damage in both race starts. It’s been a challenging weekend but all we can do now is focus on next week’s race.”