Giovinazzi hopes to end “terribly unlucky” run after tear-off wrecks Imola race

2021 F1 season

Posted on

| Written by

Antonio Giovinazzi is hoping for a change in fortune this weekend after an errant helmet tear-off cost him a points finish at Imola.

The Alfa Romeo driver was holding ninth place behind team mate Kimi Raikkonen in the Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix when he was forced to pit due to rising brake temperatures. The team discovered a visor tear-off strip in one of his brake ducts, which deprived it of cooling.

“I feel we definitely haven’t reaped what we deserved in the first two rounds,” said Giovinazzi. “We have been terribly unlucky, especially in Imola where we would have been on course for ninth or tenth if it hadn’t been for a tear-off stuck in a brake.”

Giovinazzi had a luckless start to the season in Bahrain where he finished 12th behind Raikkonen after losing around seven seconds with a slow pit stop.

“We need to take the positives of those performances and use them as a spur to go one better in the next races,” he said. “We know we are in a very close fight and we know we can come home with some really good results if things go our way.”

Raikkonen’s penalty at Imola cost him a points finish and leaves Alfa Romeo yet to score after the first two rounds. Team principal Frederic Vasseur said the team needs a clean weekend to deliver its overdue first points score of the season.

“We approach this back-to-back with the confidence of being able to have a good performance and the determination to make up for the circumstances that prevented us from scoring in the first two outings of the season,” he said.

“We know we could have, and should have, had two cars in the points on merit last time out, but that is no consolation as the final result is all that matters. It is now time to turn performance into points. We know we need a spotless weekend to edge out the other teams in the midfield and we are determined to do just that.”

Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and go ad-free

2021 F1 season

Browse all 2021 F1 season articles

Author information

Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

Got a potential story, tip or enquiry? Find out more about RaceFans and contact us here.

8 comments on “Giovinazzi hopes to end “terribly unlucky” run after tear-off wrecks Imola race”

  1. It seems fairly common that a visor tear-off gets stuck in a brake duct and spoils a driver’s race. I’m surprised they haven’t suggested a solution to this by making the drivers keep the tear-offs in the cockpit in a pouch or something rather than throwing them onto the track. Seems like a fairly easy problem to solve, but maybe it doesn’t occur as often as I’m thinking since I’m probably also conflating visor tear-offs with other debris like plastic bags causing the same issue.

    1. They did try to introduce that as a rule didn’t they, a year or two ago, then it got dropped again. Drivers have put them into their own air intake sometimes. It shouldn’t be too hard for F1 to find a solution as you say.

    2. @keithedin it does occasionally happen, but not on an extremely high frequency – Sainz had that suspension failure a few years ago where a brake duct was blocked, and Kimi had a blocked duct in the 2019 Australian GP that forced him to pit early (although there was no damage done to the car). I believe Alonso also had to retire from a race in 2015 due to a blocked brake duct, whilst Kimi also retired from a race in 2013 with a blocked duct too.

      It is true that there was a proposal for drivers to have to store the tear offs in the car, but in the end the idea was dropped. Whilst ducts have occasionally been blocked by tear offs, it seems it is infrequent enough that it’s a relatively low priority.

    3. Tear-offs are becoming a problem because of the current intricate brake duct designs, it was not a problem until recently. Only when Hamilton gets it that we might see something actually enforced. Maybe we should ask Greta for a solution. Drivers should take a tear-off and put it on the recycling bin.

      1. @peartree While I don’t think it’s limited to Hamilton, there is some truth that these seemingly minor issues tend to only get addressed when there are major repercussions to a front runner or championship contender. Just look at the red flag rules which have been the same for as long as I can remember, but regaining a lap is only considered a problem now (for some) when Hamilton benefited from it and finished 2nd rather than say 7th.

        And yes, there is the ‘green’ factor to consider as throwing around bits of unbiodegradable plastic goes against F1’s current messaging regarding sustainability, so that’s another reason they should consider doing something about this.

        1. @keithedin and it was the first time I can recall lapped cars going out alone to get the lap back (good idea) as if we were going to have a standing start as the regulation suggests, only to get a rolling start even though the track was in a much better state than at the original start, some team admitted they were sure about the standing start. by the way I was half joking.

  2. Two races in 2021 and 2 cars with brake trouble caused by a sandwich bag (Alonso in Bahrain) and a tear-off. How many years and thousands of F1 staff does it take to design a brake duct that doesn’t swallow things?!

  3. Jonny Charman
    28th April 2021, 9:35

    did they collide in Imola? they look to be getting very close in that pic..

Comments are closed.