Antonio Giovinazzi’s hopes of scoring points at the Dutch Grand Prix, and potentially saving his Alfa Romeo seat, were dashed by a right-rear puncture.
Amid rumours that Giovinazzi is on his way out of Alfa Romeo, and Formula 1 as a whole, the Italian secured his best ever qualifying position at the Dutch GP.
He lined up seventh on the grid, conceding “for sure it will help, but we know how it is in Formula 1 – I did my best”.
A strong points finish, though, could have possibly swayed Alfa Romeo as Fred Vasseur considers who will join the now-confirmed Valtteri Bottas in his 2022 line-up.
But it was not to be, with Giovinazzi’s efforts undone by a puncture he suffered six laps after his opening pit-stop of the afternoon.
“We had a puncture on the rear right but we don’t know why,” he said, quoted by Crash.net.
“I think after that, the race was over because we had done one stop more than the others and then it was just difficult.
“We were in the points at that moment. So, tricky to say, but until that moment we were in the points.”
Chequered flag in Zandvoort 🏁
Unlucky afternoon with a puncture for Antonio taking him out of the fight for points.
Good job by Robert despite his late call-up.
— Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN (@alfaromeoracing) September 5, 2021
His race, though, had already suffered an early blow on the opening lap when he dropped to P10, the Italian not happy with Fernando Alonso’s antics.
Trying to make up positions, the Alpine driver went from the bottom of the track to the top, nearly taking off the Alfa Romeo’s front wing.
“I was trying [to defend the position],” said Giovinazzi. “It can be okay, it can not, but I tried at least.
“I don’t know to be honest if he had someone on the right but for sure, a bit too aggressive.”
Any chance of the 27-year-old recovering from that were hampered by his struggles to follow the car ahead, never mind attempt a pass.
“It’s difficult, especially to follow,” he added. “Turns 7, 8, 9, in high speed was just terrible. No chance to overtake.
“To be honest, already in F3 it was just so difficult to overtake in 2015. It’s just a difficult track to overtake.”
Giovinazzi has scored just one point this season, for P10 at the Monaco Grand Prix.