MonzaGP: There’s no place like home
2019 FIA Formula One Gran Premio Heineken D’Italia – Race – Sunday
Weather: sunny, 20.2-22.1°C air, 31.2-35.0°C track
A career-best finish, in front of your home crowd, while being pushed every inch of the way by the support of your fans: we are of course talking about Antonio Giovinazzi, who showed his mettle in an exciting Italian Grand Prix. The man in car #99 didn’t put a tyre wrong all Sunday, fighting in the top ten from lights to flag and bringing home two points. It was a special weekend for Antonio, supported warmly by his Fan Club, who were out in force on the grandstands, and by his family, who proudly watched the race in the team’s hospitality building.
It was, finally, a reward for the hard-working Italian, a result everyone in the team welcomes. It came at the end of a busy but incredible weekend in which the support the Alfa Romeo Racing team received inside and outside the paddock was amazing. With a vast array of Alfa Romeo Racing t-shirts and caps on the grandstands and in the Fan Zone; the team was overwhelmed by the reception wherever they went with Antonio, Kimi and Fred. There was love for the team all around.
Alfa Romeo Racing chose to celebrate Italy and the Monza weekend as well. Hosting the paddock media in the team’s hospitality, just before the race, to share a taste of Italy with the best pasta, mozzarella and wine, courtesy of their partners Eccellenze Campane. Antonio himself, as the local favourite, contributed to the party by taking a turn behind the kitchen counter and preparing food for the guests. It was a great occasion to bring the paddock together in a relaxed atmosphere. But when the racing started, the man from Martina Franca was fully focused on the job at hand – and the results showed it.
Frédéric Vasseur, Team Principal Alfa Romeo Racing and CEO Sauber Motorsport AG:
“Scoring two points in our home race is a good way to say thank you for all the support we received this weekend. Antonio drove a really good race in front of his home fans and had to keep a cool head under pressure to bring home P9, repaying the faith everyone in the team has put in him. Hopefully, this result can provide further motivation for him to finish the season strongly and help the team in the standings. Sadly, Kimi didn’t have as memorable a race. Coming back from a pitlane start was always going to be a tough task, but as we put the wrong tyres onto his car his hopes of points were put to an end.”
Kimi Räikkönen #7:
Fastest lap: 1:24.419
Tyres: Mediums (26 laps) – Softs (26 laps)
“Well that was a sh** weekend. First my mistake in qualifying which unfortunately meant that we had to change gearbox. Then we decided to also change engine and start from the pitlane, but we had the wrong tyres on and with the penalty my race was more or less over. Looking forward to Singapore, as it can’t get worse.”
Antonio Giovinazzi #99:
Fastest lap: 1:24.503
Tyres: Softs (21 laps) – Mediums (31 laps)
“It was a positive day for Italy today. I want to dedicate the two points to all the Tifosi here. I am so happy with the result, and I am also happy to see Ferrari do something very special for our country with their win. It’s a great feeling to score points as the only Italian driver in my home race. Starting on softs and changing to mediums turned out to be the best strategy, but I had to do my best to keep the McLaren of Norris behind. It was a difficult race, but a lot of our work has been rewarded, especially after Spa. We have to keep working and fighting like this. I am pleased for everyone in the team and for all my fans.”