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Alfa Romeo: Giovinazzi ignoring team order 'not ideal'

Antonio Giovinazzi failed to follow an order from Alfa Romeo to allow Kimi Raikkonen to pass him during the latter stages of the Turkish Grand Prix.

Alfa Romeo admit it was "not ideal" that Antonio Giovinazzi ignored an order from the team to allow Kimi Raikkonen to pass him during the Turkish Grand Prix. In the latter stages of the race, Raikkonen was running quicker than his teammate, prompting two requests for Giovinazzi to let him through. However, the Italian did not comply and Xevi Pujolar, Alfa Romeo's Head of Trackside Engineering, feels that this impacted the team's end result. "We asked to swap positions but then at this point also Antonio was starting to pick up the pace and he himself decided that he wanted to stay ahead," Pujolar told select media, including RacingNews365.com . "And maybe that situation, this couple of laps, potentially we could have been faster as a team." As it was, both Giovinazzi and Raikkonen finished outside of the points, ending the race in 11th and 12th respectively. Giovinazzi was unable to pass Esteban Ocon in 10th, who was running on extremely worn tyres after completing the Grand Prix on the same set of Intermediates that he started it with. "We needed one more lap to catch Ocon," Pujolar explained. In reference to the team order, Pujolar says that Alfa Romeo would have swapped the drivers back again if they had been able to. And on Giovinazzi's decision not to follow the request, the engineer said: "For sure, for the team, that was not ideal. "I did not understand well why we could not swap at this point, because also when we have got both cars then we can change it back depending on the situation." Alfa Romeo made the decision that Giovinazzi and Raikkonen should swap positions based on the changing weather conditions, with the track beginning to dry in the latter stages. "At the beginning of the race, we didn't really focus so much on who is stronger, more or less both cars were there," Pujolar added. "We were managing, we didn't know how long the conditions would remain like this, so we didn't want to put too much stress or swapping positions and letting Kimi push hard and run out of tyres too quickly. "So on that stage, we wanted to have a bit of space, because nobody knew if it will be 20 laps, 30 laps or the whole race in Inter[mediate] condition. But at the end of the race, it was a different story. At that point, yes, we wanted to swap position." Giovinazzi's seat at Alfa Romeo remains the only unconfirmed slot on the 2022 grid, whilst Valtteri Bottas will join the team to replace the retiring Raikkonen.

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