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Alfa Romeo explains disastrous Giovinazzi pitstop

Antonio Giovinazzi's disastrous pitstop in the Spanish GP was the result of a tyre valve failure from an operational issue at his Alfa Romeo team.

Antonio Giovinazzi, Alfa Romeo Racing C41

Photo by: Glenn Dunbar / Motorsport Images

Giovinazzi was the first driver to dash into the pitlane when Yuki Tsunoda's retirement on track triggered an early safety car.

However, as the team prepared to fit a new set of tyres, a crew member realised that one of them was flat. After signalling to his colleagues, the change was aborted, and a second new set of tyres had to be retrieved from the garage before Giovinazzi could be sent on his way.

He then lost time as he had to follow an FIA delta on his dashboard behind the safety car, instead of being allowed to rejoin the pack, which would usually be the case.

The double delay meant that the Italian lost any advantage he might have gained from the strategic move, and he eventually finished 15th.

"My steering wheel was not working behind the safety car because it was still the delta to follow," said Giovinazzi. "So when I started at the green flag I was 10 seconds behind. So yeah, just a shit race from beginning to end."

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Alfa Romeo's head of track engineering Xevi Pujolar said that the tyre set was alright when checked before the start of the race.

"It was an operational problem when just picking up the set at one point when getting everything ready in the garage that damaged the valve," he said.

"We've got a monitoring system. It was okay when the race started, but at some point in the garage, then it it went wrong, a couple of laps before before the pitstop.

"For sure it is an area that we can we can improve, that shouldn't happen. But at least we should have been able to recover, because it was a safety car.

"So if then we will didn't have the other problem with the dash, I think we were pretty much there at the back of the group issue. It's just that we wanted to have the two mediums, that was the plan with the strategy.

"And I think it would have been fighting for the points. Because he would have been very well positioned on what we could do with the tyres with two mediums. But anyway, it is what it is."

Regarding the safety car dash issue, he added: "We're talking to the FIA, we can't understand why we had this problem. And yeah, I don't know yet.

"It's a shame, because the time that we lost, and we lost already one set of tires, and then we lost time that costs him, and then he was falling in traffic. And it cost him then a lot in the race."

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