Giovinazzi defiance of Alfa team order 'not ideal'

© XPB 

Antonio Giovinazzi's decision to blatantly ignore a team order in the Turkish Grand Prix was "not ideal" and may have cost the Swiss outfit a pair of  top-ten finishes at Istanbul Park.

Giovinazzi was running just outside the points in the closing stages of last Sunday's the race when he was asked to swap positions with his faster teammate, Kimi Raikkonen.

But the Italian, who is fighting to retain his seat with Alfa Romeo for 2022, chose to ignore the call and "pick up the pace" instead.

"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," explained Xevi Pujolar, Alfa's head of trackside engineering.

"And maybe that situation, this couple of laps, potentially we could have been faster as a team."


Giovinazzi and Raikkonen finished respectively P11 and P12, hot on the heels of Alpine's Esteban Ocon who had not stopped at all during the race and whose single set of intermediate tyres were worn to the core.

"We needed one more lap to catch Ocon," added Pujolar.

"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.

"For sure, for the team, that was not ideal."

The Alfa engineer said the team had spent most of the afternoon focusing on its drivers' tyre management, regardless of who was faster, rather than on devising a strategy for the latter part of the race.

"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 on 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."

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