Antonio Giovinazzi, Alfa Romeo, Sochi Autodrom, 2021

Giovinazzi drove entire Russian GP with no radio communications

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In the round-up: Antonio Giovinazzi spent most of the Russian Grand Prix “struggling with the car” after a radio failure left him unable to communicate with his team.

In brief

Giovinazzi: “I was struggling with the car, to be honest”

Giovinazzi revealed he suffered a radio failure on lap one of the Russian Grand Prix, meaning he had no way of communicating with the Alfa Romeo pit wall.

“A silent race with no radio again from lap one to the end,” said Giovinazzi. “I had contact on lap one and then I lost some time behind the Haas and Williams.”

Drivers had to make late-race calls on when to pit for intermediate tyres, in worsening conditions. Without being able to contact his team, Giovinazzi made a late tyre change on lap 50 – at the same time as Lando Norris, who had been attempting to go to the end.

“I was struggling with the car, to be honest,” said Giovinazzi, who finished 16th.

Norris’ rain dilemma “every driver’s worst nightmare”

George Russell empathised with Lando Norris’ lost win at the Russian Grand Prix, saying the call to pit was impossible to make completely correctly.

“It’s every driver’s worst nightmare to be leading the race and you start seeing rain on your visor.

“You’re damned if you do box, you’re damned if you don’t box. You’re in a lose-lose position,” said Russell, who also lost a potential maiden win at last season’s Sakhir Grand Prix.

“I’ve been there, it definitely hurts, but he’ll recover. I guess you try and take the positives from it and he’ll have a victory sooner or later, I’m sure.”

Ferrari hybrid system upgrade improved Sochi performance

Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto was pleased with the gains he saw from the upgraded power unit the team ran on Charles Leclerc’s car for the first time last weekend. “We introduced an update to the hybrid system for the power unit, which worked the way we had expected and produced a little bit more performance,” he said.

However, Binotto bemoaned that the team had been unable to secure Leclerc a points finish, despite his recovery from starting 19th.

“We were not perfect in other areas, for example the pit stops and tyre management with Charles in those final chaotic moments of the race, whereas with Carlos [Sainz Jnr] everything went according to plan and we will build on the experience gained today.”

Formula 3 champion Hauger given post-race penalty for tyre change

Dennis Hauger, who sealed the Formula 3 title on Friday, was given a 10-second stop-go penalty, converted to a 30-second time penalty, after scrutineers deemed he had changed tyres without a permissible justification.

F3 does not have pit stops during its sprint race format and drivers are not allowed to change tyres unless they have become “punctured or damaged,” according to Article 39.8 of the series’ sporting regulations.

Hauger pitted, reporting serious vibrations, after spinning at turn seven. All four of his tyres were changed by his Prema mechanics but when checked after the race, the discarded tyres were judged not to have suffered enough damage to have justified the replacement.

The technical delegate examining Hauger’s car further found that there was no evidence of significant vibrations through the steering wheel, so Hauger’s stop was deemed a violation. All his lap times from lap 11 were therefore discounted. Arthur Leclerc therefore earned the final fastest lap of the season.

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Comment of the day

Looking at who gained and lost during the Russian Grand Prix, Pinak Ghosh points out the Mercedes boss’ chance of predicting lottery numbers had a good day.

The winner of the day is Toto Wolff. He predicted a win for Lewis. That happened.

He wanted Bottas to pass the cars ahead and team wanted a top 5 and that happened too.

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On this day in motorsport

  • 40 years ago today Jacques Laffite scored his last F1 win – also the final victory for Matra engines – in a soaked Canadian Grand Prix, setting up a three-way title showdown between him, Carlos Reutemann and Nelson Piquet

Author information

Hazel Southwell
Hazel is a motorsport and automotive journalist with a particular interest in hybrid systems, electrification, batteries and new fuel technologies....

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10 comments on “Giovinazzi drove entire Russian GP with no radio communications”

  1. Räikkönen is back and suddenly Giovinazzi is his old slow self again. Very strange.

    1. Honestly I just thought it was pretty impressive he did the whole race without radio!

      1. @t1redmonkey He was just incredibly slow in qualifying after two Q3 appearances and invisible in the race. Probably it didn’t make much of a difference as with the lack of communication it would have been impossible to change to intermediates at exactly the right time, but still… Where did his speed go?

        1. @f1infigures Maybe he knows something about next year we don’t

          1. @qeki That he won’t stay.
            @f1infigures He’s just inconsistent and in races especially.

  2. Literally a whole race without radio. Impressive. Almost like going back in time.

    1. Especially this race where it was really important to be able to communicate since there were hardly any gaps to pit into, the teams were unsure about how the tyres would hold up and with the rain towards the end @jerejj

      1. someone or something
        27th September 2021, 18:58

        On top of that, the early collision with Schumacher didn’t help. No idea how bad it was, but all drivers have a habit of asking their race engineers about damage immediately after a collision, no matter how light. That way they know what to expect, if they can lean on the car or should be prepared for handling issues.
        Hitting another car and then hearing no feedback whatsoever from the team must’ve been rather distressing and detrimental to getting into the groove early in the race.

  3. I might be off topic and sound harsh, which I don’t mean to, but wasn’t Norris expecting a penalty for crossing pit entry line? I read no news on that

    1. ok forget it, I just found out he got a reprimand and kept seventh, good for him

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