Alfa Romeo F1 Driver’s Luck Goes from Bad to Worse With Radio Disaster at Russian GP

Published 09/27/2021, 4:04 AM EDT
Formula One F1 – Emilia Romagna Grand Prix – Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari, Imola, Italy – Alfa Romeo’s Antonio Giovinazzi walks around the track ahead of the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix REUTERS/Jennifer Lorenzini


The Russian GP, for the fans, came with a bit of joy (thanks to Lewis’ 100 GP win) and a pinch of sadness (as Norris missed out on his maiden GP victory). But, for Alfa Romeo driver Antonio Giovinazzi, this race only meant huge frustration. The race did not start off very well with Giovinazzi suffering from his grid penalty, but when he was in turn 2, things got disastrous. Antonio Giovinazzi lost all contact with his team and he could only hear radio silence throughout the 53-lap-race.

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Giovinazzi lost all communication with Alfa Romeo on lap 1

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The race at Sochi today had so many surprise elements that we, the fans, could hardly understand what was going on! The commentators were telling us everything, but it was still difficult to keep track of the events. So, it goes without saying that Giovinazzi, totally blinded since his race engineer could not get through to him, had a nightmare of a race today.

While speaking about his race, the Italian said, “[I had] no communication with the team, and in this case, you need communication, so just a difficult race from lap one to the end.”

Alfa Romeo has already confirmed Valtteri Bottas for Kimi Raikkonen’s seat in 2022, but Giovinazzi’s fate remains undecided. At such a crucial point in his career, one botched-up race can hurt his chances at a contract to stay in F1 for another year. Yet, Gio’s radio problems made it extremely difficult for him to finish the race, especially when it started raining towards the end.

Zero team communication cost Giovinazzi his race today

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In a team press conference, Giovinazzi stated, “It has been a difficult afternoon, especially when the rain started at the end of the race, and I couldn’t talk to the pits about the tire change.

Formula One F1 – Russian Grand Prix – Sochi Autodrom, Sochi, Russia – September 24, 2021, Alfa Romeo driver Antonio Giovinazzi after crashing out of practice REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov

Indeed, at a race like today’s Russian GP, smooth communication with the team is the key but Giovinazzi did not have that. While he was running not far behind his teammate Raikkonen for the better part of the race, the sudden downpour caused a lot of trouble for him. He could not come into the pits for a tire change, and ended up at P16, ahead of Tsunoda and Mazepin.

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Barring all these obstructions, Giovinazzi still made it to the end of the race—a commendable feat in itself. But he wanted to forget this afternoon and think about Turkey as his results were disappointing. But this wasn’t the first time as he had seen similar radio issues at the Portuguese GP last year. Will he put this aside and aim for a big result at the Turkey Grand Prix in a few weeks? That remains to be seen.

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Riddhi Mondal

84 articles

Riddhi Mondal is an F1 Author at EssentiallySports. Having previously worked as a student reporter at The Statesman, she is an ardent follower of all things F1. A nerd through and through, the complicated physics that goes into the cars is what drew Riddhi to the sport.

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