Austrian Grand Prix – Alfa Romeo’s Antonio Giovinazzi first point of 2019 resulted in the loss of some of his hair, due to a pre-race dare with his boss..
After a poor start to the 2019 season for Alfa Romeo’s Antonio Giovinazzi, the Italian driver made a promise to his team boss Frederic Vasseur that, when he finally did score a point, he could have some of his hair. Giovinazzi is famed for being one of few modern drivers to have long hair, meaning this was a promise that carried some weight!
Having started from P7 on the grid, Giovinazzi brought his car home in P10 on Sunday after enjoying a strong race battling in the upper midfield. It’s the first time he’s managed to score a point between his two races with Sauber in 2017 and the first third of this season and, after a trying run of misfortune and various incidents, the pressure was finally off.
“I’m so happy to score my first point.” beamed Giovinazzi as both he and Kimi Raikkonen scored points to make it the team’s first double top ten finish. “It’s a great feeling and it’s a big weight off my shoulders. I think this is the maximum we could have done today so I’m really pleased to have two cars in the top ten.”
“We had a really positive qualifying yesterday, but today’s race was very difficult. Perez was right behind me for most of the afternoon and the pressure was heavy, but I really wanted this point. I feel a lot of our work has been rewarded today, but we have to continue moving forward. Since France we have done a step in the right direction and we have to keep it up.”
Chased around the motorhome by Vasseur after the race, Giovinazzi was finally cornered and had some of his hair chopped off, to the delight of guests in the Alfa hospitality suite.
“I am very pleased with the work we did today.” said Vasseur afterwards. After a tough run of three races with no points for the team, Alfa’s upturn of performance from France onwards appears to be working: “We put two cars in the points for the first time this season and we showed again we can compete towards the front of the midfield. Both Kimi and Antonio raced intelligently, knowing when to attack and when to look after their tyres, and to have both scoring is a reward for the whole team. We could have perhaps scored a few more points in the end, when we were catching Sainz with both cars, but in the end we can be satisfied of what we got. We have been showing improvement in the last few races, so we will aim to build on that and continue our good run of points.”