Singapore Grand Prix – Alfa Romeo’s Antonio Giovinazzi was given a post-race time penalty in Singapore, but held on to his P10 finish.
Antonio Giovinazzi finished P10 at the end of the race at Marina Bay in Singapore on Sunday. The Italian driver had briefly led the race, after employing a strategy that involved a long first stint on the Medium tyre compound.
Running until Lap 34 on his Medium tyres, Giovinazzi found himself leading the race after the lead Ferraris, Mercs and Red Bulls had pitted – the first time an Alfa Romeo had done so since 1983.
However, as the Ferrari of Sebastian Vettel powered past him, followed quickly by Charles Leclerc and Max Verstappen’s Red Bull, Giovinazzi found himself struggling for grip and ended up involved in a minor collision with Renault’s Daniel Ricciardo at Turn 7. Giovinazzi survived without significant damage, while Ricciardo was forced to pit for a new front left tyre.
Shortly after, under Safety Car for the recovery of George Russell’s Williams, Giovinazzi was pointed out to the stewards for having ignored instruction under the yellow flags and driving too close to the stewards and recovery vehicle exiting Turn 8 as Russell’s car was hoisted away.
As a result, he was brought before the stewards after the race and was found guilty and given a ten second time penalty.
However, as he finished 18 seconds clear of Romain Grosjean in P11, the time penalty meant he still finished 8 seconds ahead and thus held onto his P10 finish and sole point.
The steward’s decision was: The Stewards reviewed video evidence, heard from the driver of car 99 (Antonio Giovinazzi) and team representative. The Race Director had instructed all cars to stay to the right at the incident at Turn 8, because of the crane and marshals working the crash at that location.”
“There was a double waved yellow before the incident. While the Stewards accepted the explanation of the driver that he felt he was going sufficiently slowly, and while he was driving to his SC delta time, he did however end up driving closer to the crane and marshalls than was felt safe by either the marshalls on location or the Race Director. The Stewards concur.”
“The driver had been told of the location of the incident and to stay right, but may not have considered that the crane was moving. The Stewards consider this to be a potentially seriously dangerous situation and a risk to the marshals, and order a ten second penalty.”
Speaking after the race, Giovinazzi said he was pleased with how the race had gone but said it could have been so much more – had his long first stint gone on just a single lap longer, he would have pitted under the Safety Car and benefitted hugely: “It’s was big battle of a race. I am happy with bringing home a point for me and the team, but I still have the feeling we could have finished higher up. We stretched our first stint on mediums longer than ideal, although it’s easy to look back at it with the benefit of hindsight. Had we stopped earlier, we could have perhaps been ahead of Norris in P7.”
“I was struggling at the end of the tyres’ life and the clash with Daniel [Ricciardo] didn’t help either, as I was left with damage to my front suspension for the rest of the race.” continued the Alfa Romeo driver. “The steering wheel pulled to one side and it was a real struggle, but I really wanted that point and I fought until the end for this position. Leading the race and fighting at the top against the Ferraris and Mercedes was a great feeling, and I hope someone at home took a screenshot of the standings at the time!”