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BREAKING NEWS

today is Dec 02, 2021

Alfa Romeo left a grand prix empty-handed for the 12th time this year on Sunday. But it could have turned out differently had Antonio Giovinazzi followed his team’s instructions.

Giovinazzi crossed the finishing line less than a second behind the final points scorer, Esteban Ocon, who struggled to the flag in his Alpine after deciding not to change his tyres.

But several laps earlier Giovinazzi had ignored an instruction to let his team mate pass him. Raikkonen lapped much more quickly before getting stuck behind Giovinazzi, and would have stood a better chance of catching and passing Ocon before the finish.

The 2007 world champion changed to a fresh set of intermediate tyres three laps before Giovinazzi and was flying in the second stint, lapping quicker than race leader Valtteri Bottas at times. Raikkonen was catching his team mate at up to two seconds per lap as they ran in 12th and 13th places.

Giovinazzi was given a “reference” lap time of 1’33.5 but was running in the 1’35s. At one point his race engineer Jorn Becker told him he was “losing everywhere in braking”.

On lap 50 Raikkonen lowered his lap time to a 1’32.5, a massive 2.8 seconds quicker than Giovinazzi. Alfa Romeo made the call to swap their drivers, which was communicated to Giovinazzi twice.

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2021 Turkish Grand Prix race chart Daniel Ricci… Esteban Ocon Kimi Raikko… Antonio Giov… 10 20 30 40 50 0 20 40 60 80 100 120 Lap Time (s)
Lap Daniel Ricciardo Esteban Ocon Kimi Raikkonen Antonio Giovinazzi 1 13.968 9.994 11.406 10.85 2 18.22 13.353 15.536 14.864 3 21.08 15.996 18.165 17.492 4 22.961 18.185 20.662 19.678 5 25.642 20.785 23.199 22.168 6 28.706 23.241 26.405 24.692 7 31.449 25.828 28.498 27.955 8 33.975 28.593 31.165 30.437 9 36.797 31.073 33.774 32.881 10 39.135 32.673 35.818 35.029 11 41.158 34.235 37.699 36.857 12 43.344 35.699 39.701 38.919 13 45.452 37.31 41.803 41.048 14 47.301 38.688 44.588 43.041 15 48.712 39.701 46.144 45.011 16 50.656 40.929 47.724 46.505 17 52.518 42.214 49.322 47.939 18 54.401 43.896 51.35 49.615 19 55.385 45.09 53.994 51.084 20 58.047 46.405 55.522 52.499 21 60.29 47.705 56.85 53.975 22 79.182 49.139 58.783 55.701 23 79.719 50.475 60.99 57.403 24 80.339 51.176 62.345 58.347 25 80.797 52.17 63.5 58.613 26 82.167 53.595 65.31 59.905 27 83.763 55.187 66.889 61.322 28 85.774 57.606 69.106 62.78 29 86.725 58.948 71.116 64.111 30 87.517 59.506 73.294 64.951 31 88.897 61.397 75.483 66.446 32 90.966 63.374 78.187 67.662 33 90.829 64.206 81.812 68.851 34 89.438 65.215 84.719 69.652 35 89.604 67.708 88.201 71.609 36 89.806 70.353 89.131 73.712 37 89.548 70.631 89.951 74.359 38 76.074 58.539 96.023 62.999 39 75.32 59.274 96.341 64.575 40 74.261 59.815 96.706 66.002 41 73.919 61.119 97.293 85.122 42 74.2 62.32 97.645 85.542 43 73.181 61.842 99.065 84.706 44 71.385 60.659 97.752 84.328 45 70.881 60.608 97.082 85.115 46 70.078 62.543 97.859 85.231 47 71.667 64.366 97.163 86.821 48 72.947 66.833 97.018 88.617 49 74.884 69.695 96.795 90.474 50 78.484 72.69 96.485 92.956 51 80.291 74.135 96.1 95.345 52 83.428 77.159 96.891 95.891 53 88.183 82.563 98.216 97.118 54 93.994 86.418 98.875 97.856 55 97.561 89.722 98.91 98.237 56 104.163 98.236 103.958 103.358 57 109.503 101.166 106.954 101.921

“Swap position with Kimi behind into turn one, he’s much quicker now,” said Becker. Giovinazzi kept his position, but told the team he would increase his pace. “Turn eight is better for the rear so I will push now,” he said.

The team gave him a new reference lap time of 1’32.5, and though Giovinazzi did improve his pace, he only got down to a 1’33.1. Meanwhile Raikkonen, who had been told “we will swap position at turn one”, could only wait behind his team mate.

The pair were catching two cars ahead: Ocon and Daniel Ricciardo, who was also struggling with his tyres. Both Alfa Romeo drivers passed the McLaren on lap 55, and began their final lap five seconds behind Ocon.

“Ahead of Antonio is Ocon, Ocon is P10,” Raikkonen’s engineer Julian Simon-Chautemps advised him. “Yeah maybe we should have thought about it a bit earlier, we could catch him,” Raikkonen replied.

Giovinazzi almost caught Ocon, but still came out of the final corner too late to pass the Alpine, crossing the finishing line seven-tenths of a second behind. Raikkonen had been on his tail until turn 12 on the final lap, when he ran wide, then had to let Max Verstappen by to lap him.

“Antonio was told,” Raikkonen heard on his radio after crossing the line.

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