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Formula 1

No blame at Alfa Romeo after Giovinazzi ignored team orders

Frederic Vasseur has said there's "no blame" at Alfa Romeo, after Antonio Giovinazzi's failure to obey a team order arguably cost them a points finish in Turkey.

Article
To news overview © Alfa Romeo

The cracks at Alfa Romeo between management and Antonio Giovinazzi appear to have been paved over after the Turkish Grand Prix, where the Italian driver seemingly ignored an instruction that cost the team a points finish.

Kimi Raikkonen was the faster Alfa Romeo driver in the closing stages of the race, with the Finn told that Giovinazzi would relinquish 11th position to him to allow Raikkonen to chase after Alpine's Esteban Ocon. However, Giovinazzi never yielded, instead speeding up himself but ultimately falling short of catching and passing Ocon for 10th place.

Although the team missed out on a possible 10th place due to Giovinazzi's actions, as the Italian driver is without a contract for next season, team boss Frederic Vasseur was reluctant to criticise him for the disobedience.

"Turkey was a tough race for the strategists, and for the drivers to know exactly what is the right level of push you have to do," Vasseur told select members of the media, including RacingNews365.com.

"We were trying to save the tyres and making a huge saving in Turn 8 and, at one stage, Kimi pushed much more and saw that we were able to keep the tyres.

"We asked Antonio either to push or to let him [Raikkonen] go. He was probably too conservative, but I don't want to blame him."

Vasseur said there was no finger-pointing going on as a result of Giovinazzi ignoring the call.

"We had the discussion," he went on to comment.

"He was a bit lost with the quantity of attack he had to put [in the tyres]. For sure, they could be much faster and he was too conservative.

"We lost the points, clearly, but I don't want to blame Antonio. I think he was sticking to the plan and, when we had the window to push more, he took two or three laps to understand that he could push more, and it is like it is."

Giovinazzi himself refused to admit that he had ignored the team instruction when asked about it during his media session on Thursday in the United States.

"I think [it] is an issue that sometimes comes and it came [up] already in the past," he said.

"But, to be honest, I don't like to comment on this. I just like to discuss this inside of the team, but it's not the first time. The important thing is that we are OK now, are all fine.

"I believe in my team, they believe in me, so the only thing that is important now is that we score points. That is what all of us want and we will try to do our best."

RN365 News dossier F1 2021 US Grand Prix

The latest news about the Turkish Grand Prix straight from Austin.

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