The Southern France coast was home of the best nineteenth century impressionists’ painters: Degas, Van Gogh, Renoir, all have had a residence right behind the Cote d’Azur coast; surrounded by hills and lavender plantations, they gave their best pieces of art that century conceived.
Today Antonio Giovinazzi was trying to emulate them, painting the ideal lines in a highly technical track as Paul Ricard is well note for being (High Test Track Centre is its official name after all). What probably Antonio did not count was their unlucky life and their incomprehension of their works.
Starting from the luck side, a mistake on the very last lap did not show all the solid commitment the Alfa Romeo technicians had done so far in the season: being in Q3 was a relief for consolidating the upgrade from back field runners to midfield contenders; but once the artist has done a good painting, he goes for committing a masterpiece, something for being remember for:
Yes, it was a positive qualifying. Top 10, I think I am really happy with this. Tomorrow will be a difficult race, starting with the soft [tyre], but we have good pace and hope we can also have a better result tomorrow. We start from the top 10 - we need to be there for the rest of the race, have a good strategy, good pace and finally try to get this first point.
On the incomprehension side, the Italian fans haven’t been very sweet as they did not reflect about Antonio’s car and team situation: early on the 2017 Hungary Free Practice (when he crashed the Haas on the barriers) and on this year’s beginning Australian round they mourned he was not suitable for the F1; later on, detractors should swing round. Antonio, in fact, is now on the catch of his first F1 point of the career:
[Raikkonen] is still a world champion team mate and still really strong and fast, so I’m really happy with this, but important tomorrow to try and take finally this first point. We’ve brought some improvements, new parts, it’s improved – I just made a mistake in that last lap and that’s enough to cost [you], but that’s how it goes. We can at least choose the tyres that we want [for the race start], so it’s not too bad.
Let’s look close on his tomorrow’s race: after the Italian received the famous Trofeo Bandini last week, even a single point could be another heavy milestone on his career path. And remember: Marchionne did not made mistakes on judging drivers, even being extraneous to the racing world: Giovinazzi today, could a Leclerc tomorrow.