Giovinazzi: Russian GP 'a mess' due to radio failure

Antonio Giovinazzi rode out a difficult race in Russia, marked by an opening lap contact and a radio... The post Giovinazzi: Russian GP 'a mess' due to radio failure appeared first on F1i.com.

Giovinazzi: Russian GP 'a mess' due to radio failure

Antonio Giovinazzi rode out a difficult race in Russia, marked by an opening lap contact and a radio failure that made his afternoon a veritable "mess".

Giovinazzi, who is fighting to retain his drive with Alfa for 2022, had qualified P16 but the Italian was was on the back foot from the outset in Sochi after a contact with Haas' Mick Schumacher saw him clock in 19th at the end of the first lap.

From there on end, the frustrated Alfa driver endured multiple struggles that left him a lowly P16 at the checkered flag, his radio black out leading to a belated pitstop in the rain-impacted closing stages of the race.

"I had contact with I don't know who in Turn 2, and I lost a little bit of position there," he said.

"I had no radio from lap one, so it was impossible to communicate with the team, and it was just a difficult race with the fuel saving.

"I tried to watch my pit on the main straight to see what I need to do, but without the radio it was just a mess.

"And then also with the rain in the end I had no communication. It was just a silence race for myself, so just a difficult race from lap one.

"It was also difficult to overtake, so I lost a lot of time there. Then when I was in free air the pace was good. But we lost a lot of laps."

©AlfaRomeo

Giovinazzi's eventful and botched weekend, which was also marked by a crash in free practice, will not have improved his already meager chances to keeping his drive with Alfa.

But considering the cascade of problems his driver had faced, team boss Fred Vasseur granted Giovinazzi mitigating circumstances in Russia.

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"I don't want to say that the race was bad at all, because we had too many issues," admitted Vasseur.

"The first one was the contact at Turn 1. Mick hit the rear of Antonio, he went straight, he damaged the floor and then he was stuck behind the group.

"And then we lost the radio communication from the beginning, so we had to show the signal the old fashioned way.

"As soon as you have to give orders about management and so on, it's difficult. You can't give as many details as when you are speaking, and you can't say that you have to save tyres or fuel at this level.

"You don't have to pay attention to one session," concluded the Alfa boss.

"Over the last few weekends, the pace was really good in quali in Zandvoort and Monza, and this weekend I think that the pace was okay on Friday."

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Mercedes 'assessing' engine plans amid reliability concerns

Mercedes is assessing how it will proceed with its engine plans for the remainder of the season following... The post Mercedes 'assessing' engine plans amid reliability concerns appeared first on F1i.com.

Mercedes 'assessing' engine plans amid reliability concerns

Mercedes is assessing how it will proceed with its engine plans for the remainder of the season following Valtteri Bottas' engine change in Russia, the second in two races for the Finn.

After exceeding his three-engine quota at Monza, Bottas was assigned a fifth power unit in Russia, which justified the Finn's grid penalty on Sunday.

But a pneumatic problem detected on a Mercedes engine powering Williams' Nicholas also compelled the manufacturer to add a fourth unit to the Canadian's engine inventory.

Championship leader Lewis Hamilton is still relying on two healthy engines, but mileage accumulation coupled with emerging reliability concerns could force Mercedes to add a fourth unit to the Briton's pool of hardware, which would equate to a potentially costly grid penalty for F1's title contender.

In Russia, Red Bull elected to assign a fourth engine to Max Verstappen, which in hindsight proved a timely and massively successful move given the Dutchman's P2 finish in Sochi and which theoretically puts him out of harm's way until the end of the season in terms of engine usage.

©Mercedes

Mercedes is therefore pondering its plans for the remaining six or seven races of the 2021 season as it addresses its recent "gremlins" while also preparing its engine allocations for next year.

"At the moment we are reassessing the performance of the power unit as we have question marks and therefore haven’t decided which engines would go back into the pool," said Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff.

"That's why we're having a few balls in the air, because you need to have the right balance between making sure that you really sort out all the gremlins that you have in the power unit, not only for this year but also for next year's power unit.

"Definitely, we are in a phase of assessment on how to continue the season in terms of power units."

  • Read also: Mercedes title bid will continue to follow 'really aggressive' approach

The crux of the matter is that Mercedes, like Red Bull, cannot afford a single retirement in its intense fight for the championship.

"It's always reliability versus performance, it's always a fine line that you need to get right," added Wolff.

"DNFing, obviously, is a no go for the championship and nobody, neither us nor our competitors, can afford a zero points race weekend."

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