Antonio Giovinazzi, Alfa Romeo, Spa-Francorchamps, 2020

‘He should have let me pass’: How Raikkonen saw Giovinazzi’s crash

2020 Belgian Grand Prix

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Antonio Giovinazzi was feeling the heat from team mate Kimi Raikkonen again when he crashed out of the Belgian Grand Prix.

Raikkonen had been told to “put more pressure” on him before Giovinazzi lost control of his car and spun into a barrier at high speed.

The two Alfa Romeo drivers were running 14th and 15th at the time of the crash on lap 10. Team mate Kimi Raikkonen, following immediately behind Giovinazzi, remarked he “should have fucking let me past” as he spun into the barriers.

Raikkonen appeared behind his team mate on lap four after passing Kevin Magnussen. As he closed within a second of Giovinazzi, Raikkonen told his team: “I feel like I’m faster but I’m stuck behind him.”

Giovinazzi has been told to let his team mate pass him twice already this year. Raikkonen urged Alfa Romeo to consider switching the cars again: “I think we can challenge the Ferrari, at least try it,” he said.

Meanwhile Giovinazzi was being told to up his pace. He was advised to improve his line at several points on the lap including at the right-hand part of Fagnes, turn 13, where he eventually crashed.

“He’s off,” remarked Raikkonen as Giovinazzi’s car skidded off the track in front of him after five laps of pressure from his team mate. Giovinazzi’s race engineer asked “are you OK?” as the car came to a rest. The driver climbed out, apparently without replying.

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Alfa Romeo drivers’ team radio prior to Giovinazzi’s crash

To Raikkonen OK Kimi your brakes are on the hot side, some management please.
To Raikkonen OK Kimi your brakes are good, no management required.
Raikkonen I don’t know. I mean I feel like I’m faster but I’m stuck behind him.
To Raikkonen Repeat, repeat.
Raikkonen I feel that I’m faster than the [unclear]
To Raikkonen Copy, copy.
Raikkonen Because I think we can challenge the Ferrari, at least try it.
To Raikkonen OK Kimi let’s put more pressure on Antonio.
Raikkonen I have no power exiting the last corner.
To Raikkonen Copy, we are having a look.
Raikkonen Only once when the thing was minus.
To Raikkonen OK Kimi all OK that was very clean. Too much overtake usage. All good.
Raikkonen Yeah I can get very close to him here in the middle but…
Raikkonen Seconds later
Yeah he’s off.
Raikkonen Should have fucking let me past. He pushed a lot. It’s probably Safety Car?
To Raikkonen OK your Safety Car window is open. Your Safety Car window is open. OK box, box.
To Giovinazzi So this brake saving is OK. Good also in the chicane.
To Giovinazzi Two-tenths quicker than [unclear] good job, keep pushing now.
To Giovinazzi Can improve turn 13, keep hard pushing, try to reduce the gap to Vettel.
To Giovinazzi Vettel lapping 52.4, keep pushing Antonio.
To Giovinazzi Margin to improve turn 12 and 13. No lift-off turn 15.
To Giovinazzi Vettel ahead lapping 52.0.
To Giovinazzi Margin to improve braking turn 14 and remember no lift-off turn 15.
To Giovinazzi Brake are fine now Antonio keep pushing. Vettel 1.2 seconds ahead.
To Giovinazzi He crashes
Antonio are you OK?

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Keith Collantine
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48 comments on “‘He should have let me pass’: How Raikkonen saw Giovinazzi’s crash”

  1. Raikkonen reacting to a big crash from his teammate, at 200 km/h, and seeing a wheel including suspension along his way:

    – Yeah, he is off.

  2. OK Kimi let’s put more pressure on Antonio.

    Well that worked out well. It did look a strange bit of over-driving, almost throwing the car into a spin, now more explicable. But still bad from Giovinazzi. Next time Alfa Romeo want him to speed up, what do they do?

    1. “Kimi Raikkenon had been to “put more pressure on Antonio””


    2. Just telling him to make room for Kimi otherwise he crash. I always found Giovinazzi a very weak driver crashing twice in his tests, crashing in the last laps he doesn’t handle pressure very well…

    3. Sounds like the pit wall were driving the car on behalf of Giovinazzi. Absolutely no feedback from him. Appears he was obviously feeling the pressure.

  3. I don’t rate Giovinazzi. I kinda expected him to be more regularly on or above Raikkonen’s pace, and at least looking like he could score reliable points but I’ve seen him spin off both out of the points and while in the points before and generally he seems to struggle to convincingly beat an indifferent Raikkonen. With Hulkenberg available, and at least three Ferrari F2 juniors looking very ready for F1 I think the chances of him keeping his seat are quite slim.

    1. @rocketpanda Alfa Romeo are in that unenviable position of having one driver consistently quicker than the other in qualifying but slower in the races.

      1. I don’t completely agree. They have been quite close in qualifying with Giovinazzi slightly having an edge (4-3). RAI has usually had way better pace in races but he had 1-2 bad races, too. For me RAI is overall clearly better than GIO but his biggest weakness is GIO’s biggest strength, hence the close Q battle.

        I can’t see GIO getting a new contract. RAI might continue, I think it’s 50/50. He’s still good enough to be there but it’s getting more and more difficult.

        1. Anon, I agree, but it is the car that is getting more and more difficult. No improvement currently and none in the pipeline, while the rest improve… [except for Haas].

      2. I sense alfa car a bit unstable in corner entry,it always twitch,and all of alfa crash since 2019 you can see it twitch before crashing

    2. He reminds me a little of (a quicker) Esteban Gutierrez.

      Not sure why, but he just inspires so little confidence. You always get the feeling with him that he’s pretty much ok trundling around on the fringes of points and maybe nicking a point here and there, but if the stars all align for him and he somehow has the car in a position to get good points, you just get the feeling he’ll probably bin it all on his own, for no apparent reason.

      Ultimately, drivers like that don’t get too many chances. Teams need drivers that convert their chances when presented.

      Even somebody as accident prone as Grosjean has consistently proven that if a chance is there, he can bring the points home more often than not.

      I don’t see him on the grid next season either. There are better alternatives.

      1. Agree with you on this – and its refreshing to see some fair assessment! I don’t think Gio handles the pressure very well at all. He seems quite calm and collected off-track, during interviews etc, but he’s a bit of an anomaly on track.

        He’s shown decent pace a few times, having only just been edged out by Kimi in qualifying last year, but in the race he only managed to finish ahead twice (though this is explicitly when they could be compared). However, in 25 races (where he finished), he only scored points on 5 occasions. Comparatively Ericsson scored 6 points finishes across 17 races in a single year.

        For me Gio drives like his seat is permanent. He never really seems to be pushing where its appropriate, or really extracting anything from the car; regularly dropping backwards through the field. I think you’re right about binning the car on his own. I could see him leading a race with a marginal gap and still managing to take himself out. I’ll be surprised if he lasts much longer, but I imagine Ferrari will want to cement his seat.

  4. Harsh truth is Gio looked to have pace when he debuted for Sauber in China in 2017, but his qualifying and race crashes overshadowed the highs of that weekend’s performance and have unfortunately proved an accurate summation of his career at Alfa Romeo since: erratic, occasionally pacy, but largely inconsistent. He hasn’t been able to overhaul his teammate or shown any sign of obvious development, and should be making way at the end of the year.

    1. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
      1st September 2020, 23:32

      I think giovinazzi is a bit similar to Ericsson. Has quite a few incidents and really wasn’t impressive in his first few seasons. I thought Ericsson was the worst driver on the grid in 2015 early on. But he was kept for his money and I personally think he improved a little in the later years, but still wasn’t that good. I think the same would happen with Giovinazzi. i think he would improve a bit if he was still in F1 in a few years time, but it he doesn’t have the money and sponsors behind him like Ericsson did, I just don’t think it is worth keeping him.

      1. @Ben Rowe “I think giovinazzi is a bit similar to Ericsson” i place him in the same category as grosjean myself – erratic, dangerous and looses focus on where he is and randomly shunts as a result.

    2. @newfangled Melbourne actually, but yes, he looked to have pace at that time, although he crashed out in China both in QLF and the race.

    3. Lol what are you talking about kimi is barely any faster then gio

      1. @carlosmedrano so getting easily beaten by someone well past his prime and who it can be debated if he is actually tryharding it or just having fun is a good thing? gio doesnt belong on the grid and im sure there is another driver far more deserving of that seat.

  5. It’s kind of funny how Kimi was not even like, is he OK? Just went straight to twist the knife. Who says he lost his fire or is indifferent?

    1. Kimi is very experienced and he saw the accident, I’m sure he knew Giovinazzi was alright

      1. Indeed, he didn’t see the Russell aftermath. Had he done so, he might have seemed more concerned similar to K-Mag.

  6. Kimi is still grande Kimi :)
    I guess he does not really likes that Giovinazzi’s disobeyance to optimal strategies is slightly accepted by the team, and he really expressed his feelings about that when the crash happened. Imo in a close incident like that anyone would be looking for him- or herself at the first moment, and after realising he not got into trouble his subconscious produced that happy-funny-honest comment :P Although on the other hand it looked like a scary accident in the world feed, no close up picture for long seconds, and wrecks and debris everywhere, at first sight I even had to think whick part of the track it is, but at least it was one of the slower parts, and they got away with it luckily.
    Is there a video footage somewhere with this new evergreen radio message of him audible? Sadly Mr. Google’s only hit on this line of radio chat as a whole is this article.

    1. I agree, I think Kimi’s comments were aimed at Gio’s side of the garage, not Gio himself.

  7. For someone who doesn’t seem to have significant backing and needs to show his worth every race to keep the seat, Giovinazzi has been pretty poor, crashing way too much. We know the car is a dog but he should be able to at least keep it intact.

    1. supergauntlet
      2nd September 2020, 4:32

      That “dog” finished ahead of all its real opponents (haas, williams) AND ahead of both Ferraris. For a rear midfield car they did pretty well.

    2. He has the backing of Ferrari €dvaldo, that is what put him in the car for these last 2 seasons.

  8. The coaching going on for every corner is frankly ridiculous. FIA needs to find a middle-ground in terms of radio messages.

    1. Exactly, this is very embarrassing. And for this one the race engineer must feel a bit guilty to disturb up to the point where the driver end up crashing.

    2. Go back to pitboards and maybe lights on the wheel to indicate pitting and position. Nothing more is needed.

      1. I agree with you. Pitboard. No coaching on braking points or lines. No coaching on engine modes and infinite settings either. Is the car too complicated to operate? Then the team is responsible for making it too complicated and should have made it simpler.

        1. And with regard to yellow flags, safety cars, blue flags, penalties, etc., it should be easy enough to have an automated message play in the drivers’ ears when necessary.

    3. Yup!
      I don’t understand how this type of coaching can go hand in hand with “driving the car unaided”.

      1. I mean, drivers got peanalized for discussing tire strategy in a dry/wet track going to the grid. But teaching a drivers the basics corner by corner in the race somehow is OK? The FIA…

    4. Agree, the drivers should sort it out themselves. No coaching from the pit wall.

    5. @f1g33k I don’t understand why some people seem to get so worked up about this. Surely this incident is a perfect example of how telling a driver how to do something doesn’t necessarily mean they can do it?

      1. Well, to take an analogy, on-court coaching is banned in tennis and results in a court violation. Tennis is much simpler and the player of course cannot always do what is asked from them, but still it is left to the player to handle the action on court.

        Even Senna crashed in Monaco 1988 when trying to ease off as per instructions. The radio chatter certainly impacts the driver psychologically and impairs their ability to think and act on the track. Strategy decisions are fine but it is ridiculous to constantly tell the driver what they should be doing from the pit wall.

        1. @f1g33k except that a number of players and coaches have admitted that, whilst supposedly banned, in reality most coaches are usually giving coded instructions to the players on court and that the sport has largely turned a blind eye to what is happening.

      2. @keithcollantine Maybe the point is more that it is embarrassing that they need to do it during an F1 race. Besides, how does something like that not already come out during practice.

    6. @f1g33k I agree totally. At the very least, they should cut all coaching in qualifying and the race, they’ve had three practice sessions to learn where their strong and weak corners are!! Even worse are the messages telling a driver that the team mate they’re chasing is faster in sector 2 or corner 8. Come on. We want to see those differences, not everything being evened out! It’s also unfair coaching if the other driver isn’t being equally advised on how to improve. I really hate it. Save radio messages for actual mechanical issues. They’re supposed to be mechanics on the other end, not driving school instructors. It turns some of the best drivers in the world into clumsy-seeming novices, not the image FIA needs to project.

    7. Don’t forget this:

      “This approach is aimed at providing improved content for fans and spectators, as teams will now be required to provide the Commercial Rights Holder with unrestricted access to their radio messages at all times that their cars are out of the garages”

      At least we get to hear if a driver is being coached now during the race. It wasn’t always the case.

  9. If this season will go like this afrer many years Gio can say he got more points than Kimi.

  10. would be surprised if Gio manages to keep his seat next season. I think the only way it happens is if Kimi decides he’s had enough, and then it might make Alfa want to keep Gio on for continuity, rather than get 2 new guys in. Otherwise, I think Ferrari will want his seat at Alfa to be vacated for someone like Shwartzman/Schumacher/Ilott (not sure about Schumacher but pretty certain the other 2 would do a lot better than Gio).

  11. Give F1 seats to the best drivers. And by best I don’t just mean fastest. Consistent, calm under pressure, fierce when battling, reliable, rainmaster. Some hot headed comments on the radio allowed. On camera as well, but try not to say too much about your boss.
    I realized I just described Senna, Hamilton, Alonso, Mansell, Verstappen, Lauda, Villeneuve Sr., Schumacher Sr., Piquet Sr., Fittipaldi Sr.
    Raikkonen also does all that, minus the talking.

    1. Hunt fits the bill quite well…

  12. At race start it looked to me like GIO jumped it, he was moving way before anyone else. Maybe he did a Bottas and moved “inside his box”. That, as we know, is acceptable to Massi and the stewards.

    1. @Rodber I didn’t notice him (or anyone for that matter) moving in advance. What he did notice was how Ricciardo positioned his car on the grid following the formation lap.

  13. This is driver coaching at its most extreme. Might as well tell him how to turn the wheel.

    1. “Gentleman, a short view back to the past…”

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