The Jeddah Corniche circuit in Saudi Arabia yesterday played host to one of the most controversial races of the season thus far. In an event which saw multiple clashes from the title rivals as well as contact and crashes up and down the field, Alfa Romeo team principal Fred Vasseur has discussed a weekend which saw one of his drivers, Antonio Giovinazzi stay out of trouble to claim a strong points finish while teammate Kimi Raikkonen suffered contact, ruining his race pace.
“It’s mainly good for the team and the confidence of the team.” said Vasseur on Giovinazzi’s impressive P9 finish. “We have fought all season and to finish on a good tone like this is always positive.
“We did almost all of the race in P7 and we did give up to the Ferraris in the last laps eighth and ninth. Overall, it’s a good weekend, in quali we had one car in Q3 and the other one just behind.”
Vasseur continued to discuss Raikkonen who showed solid pace before making contact with the Aston Martin of Sebastian Vettel when battling into turn 1.
“The pace was not too bad but the race was very hectic for everybody and then we had the contact with Sebastian [Vettel]. He [Raikkonen] damaged the front wing and we pitted for the front wing and the tyres but in the end we also had an issue with the floor and we were not able to fix it.
“From this stage it was more to survive until the end than anything else. Again overall I think for the team it was good. For Kimi it was a good quali, probably one of the best of the season for Kimi and the race pace was there at the beginning but now we have to focus on the next one.”
He went on to discuss the controversial topic of track safety, following a weekend which saw numerous incidents across both F1 and Formula 2, including a huge start line collision between Theo Pourchaire and Enzo Fittipaldi in F2.
“Theo [Pourchaire's accident] had nothing to do with the circuit firstly. Theo is ok, I spoke with him half an hour after the race. He was on the way to the hospital to do some checks and he was doing well.
“For the track for sure it’s not perfect but we have to keep in mind that eight months ago there was absolutely nothing. They did an amazing job, it was probably the best show in F1 over the last two years.
“For sure we have to improve, we have to make some changes but I think it was also a mega show, a mega race. There was overtaking that everyone predicted before the race that overtaking would be impossible and we had some good overtakes. Some were a bit less good perhaps! The show was ok and I’m very pleased with the race.”