“We needed one more lap to catch Ocon” – Alfa Romeo unhappy with the fact Antonio Giovinazzi did not let Kimi Raikkonen pass in his pursuit of Esteban Ocon for a solitary championship point in Turkey.
Alfa Romeo’s head of track engineering Xevi Pujolar has explained they gave team orders to Antonio Giovinazzi to let the faster Kimi Raikkonen through during the closing laps of the Turkish Grand Prix.
“In the closing stages, both drivers were able to display good pace to pass Ricciardo with a lap to go and chase down Ocon – unfortunately not being able to make the move for P10 before the chequered flag”
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— Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN (@alfaromeoracing) October 10, 2021
The Italian did not comply, though, and went to chase Esteban Ocon himself, but in vain. Ocon finished the race in P10, followed by the Alfa Romeo duo of Giovinazzi and Raikkonen. This leaves Alfa Romeo P9 in the championship, 7 points ahead of Haas, but 16 behind Williams.
“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. And maybe that situation, this couple of laps, potentially we could have been faster as a team.
We needed one more lap to catch Ocon.
“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.
“For us, it’s important to achieve the points. At the beginning of the race we didn’t really focus so much on who is stronger, more or less both cars were there. 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.”