Kimi Raikkonen was on his way to gain points up to five laps before the finish before he ran off the track with worn tyres. However, there were positive things to take home for Alfa-Romeo. The car was attractively fast in the races. The teamwork was right compared to Turkey.
It happened for the second time in a row. for various reasons. In Russia and the USA, Alfa Romeo has smelled its fifth points score this season. In both cases it did not work. In Istanbul, two corners were missing to overtake Esteban Ocon on his chewed-up tyres. But Antonio Giovinazzi ignored orders to make way for his faster teammate at the back of his team.
The Italian had told the team over the radio that he could improve. However, it was clear that he was still slower than Kimi Raikkonen. After the race, Giovinazzi had to listen to a lecture. The procedure certainly did not improve his chances in the cockpit in 2022. In the USA, Giovinazzi obeyed and let his stablemate pass in the second part of the race. But Raikkonen finished 10th on lap 52 for no reason. He went off the track in S curves. Sebastian Vettel flick.
Alpha Team Principal Pet Zehnder is convinced: “Seb was at a fast pace. But he wouldn’t pick up Kimi anymore. He really needed four laps to get past Antonio on newer tyres. He would have run out of laps eventually.” In fact, the 52nd race lap was the fourth from the last on the lap. Vettel has yet to fill the gap. In Austin you had to be 1.2secs faster to pass with a 50% chance.
Team boss Frederic Vasseur complained: “The team deserved at least one point after a good race. We were in the top 10 or out of the top from start to finish. It was encouraging, but in the end it left us empty-handed.” The calculation stops at seven counters. Alfa Romeo has only scored in four of the previous 17 Grand Prix races.
Rehabilitation was not successful. On Saturday Raikkonen failed in Q1. Giovinazzi was 0.6 seconds short of hitting Q3. But the start was promising. The Italian climbed from 12th to 11th, and Raikkonen, who benefited from engine penalties against Vettel, Alonso and Russell, improved from 15 to 12. With Pierre Gasly retired, Alfa Sauber advanced for points. With Yuki Tsunoda in front of him and Vettel as Alonso as opponents in the back.
The tactic was to call in Giovinazzi early and Raikkonen later to change tyres. The plan worked. In the nineteenth round there was an internal exchange between the two teams. Giovinazzi let the man with the most awards in history pass. “In the second part of the race I probably lost my chance to finish the points because I couldn’t get the tyres working.” Giovinazzi had the drawbacks of the medium used, and Raikkonen’s advantage is the new medium. “The car felt very good, especially in the first part of the race,” concluded the iceman.
C41 over bumps well
The Alfa Romeo C41 is a car that knows how to handle bumps. Our pace was good,” said team manager Zinder. Especially when compared to qualifications. Alpha knocked on the door to a point. But Alonso got in the way.
The duel with the Spaniard cost Raikkonen a few parts. “It damaged the bottom of the chassis quite a bit,” Raikkonen said. “It didn’t really affect the balance. But it seems to have accelerated tire wear.” Zehnder reports: “Kimy’s tires ran out shortly before the end.” The former world champion then sped off the track without any grip on the rear axle.
In the duels with Alonso, which he fought as an Alpha pilot, there was a dispute over the boundaries of the track. In two cases, the driver had to reclaim the space he gained because he shot off the edge of the track and was thus able to take more momentum with him. Once he met Giovinazzi. Once Alonso. Raikkonen got away with it, which angered Alonso.
Der Val Kimi vs. Alonso
Alpha team manager does not understand enthusiasm. “Alonso stabbed Antonio from the inside and left the track. Sure, he has to give up the place again. With Antonio we can live with the fact that he had to let Alonso through after his second defensive maneuver. With Kimi the issue is different. He’s been in the sports law and in the event noting that the limits of The track doesn’t apply. If you make mistakes or leave the track voluntarily that’s different.”
Let’s take a look at the event notes: Article 21.5 e) states that the rules for lane limits set forth in the previous paragraphs do not have to apply if the driver is turned away. Each case is evaluated individually. Race Director Michael Massey: “Kimy’s case was borderline. Obviously the stewards were weighing between overtaking and pushing too far. It was marginal, and they decided to let Kimi run. We’ll do that at the next driver meeting. Bring the table.”
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