Giovinazzi: Making Q3 in front of Tifosi ‘unbelievable’

Finley Crebolder
Antonio Giovinazzi during qualifying for the Italian Grand Prix. Italy September 2021

The Alfa Romeo of Antonio Giovinazzi during qualifying for the Italian Grand Prix. Italy September 2021

Antonio Giovinazzi says that making Q3 at the Italian Grand Prix in front of the Tifosi was an “unbelievable” experience.

Being the only Italian driver on the grid, Giovinazzi had a huge amount of support from the grandstands during qualifying in Monza.

He gave those fans something to cheer about, being one of the best qualifiers for the second race weekend running, getting his Alfa Romeo into Q3 ahead of a number of seemingly faster cars.

Discussing it afterwards, he was happy with how he performed and says doing it in front of those fans made it all the more special.

“I am very happy to have achieved Q3 in front of the Tifosi, it’s unbelievable,” he said.

“We looked solid from the start, even in Q1 and Q2 we did good laps for sixth and seventh and we knew we could get a good result.

“We only had one fresh set of tyres for Q3, so we couldn’t make much progress there, but we’ll take P10.”

His strong performance is somewhat less important than it was last time out at Zandvoort, where he qualified P7, as it only determines his starting position for sprint qualifying, not the full race.

Nevertheless, he thinks it can prove valuable if it leads to him securing a good starting place for Sunday.

“Even if this position is only for the grid of the Sprint Qualifying, it’s a good result and it allows us to start from a great position,” he added.

“We will need a good start tomorrow, on a race with no stops and no strategy, but we know we want to set us up well for Sunday. There will be some very aggressive drivers out there and we’ll need to make our opportunities count.”

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For the second weekend running, Giovinazzi’s team-mate is Robert Kubica, with the pole standing in for Kimi Raikkonen after the Finn tested positive for COVID-19.

He could only qualify down in P19, but despite only getting one hour of practice, still feels he could have done better if he wasn’t blocked by the Haas of Nikita Mazepin.

“Practice wasn’t bad, but when you have only one hour to try three compounds and do long and shorter runs, it’s not easy to get a reference,” he said.

“I am a bit disappointed about the qualifying result as I believe we could have been a bit higher up the grid.

“Finding space on track wasn’t the easiest, and when I did, my first run was ruined by Mazepin, who was just in the middle of the track. At first I thought he had a technical issue, but then he sped away.”