Alfa Romeo "dug deep" after suffering "big blows" at Mugello
Alfa Romeo team principal Fred Vasseur believes the Tuscan Grand Prix underlined the resilience of his team after it suffered "big blows" early in the race.
Kimi Raikkonen sustained a heavily damaged floor and front wing after running into the back of Red Bull's Max Verstappen on lap one, while Antonio Giovinazzi was amongst four drivers involved in the pile-up at the safety car restart shortly after.
Raikkonen, though, managed to salvage his race by scoring his first points of the season with a ninth-place finish, although had crossed the line eighth only to serve a five-second time penalty for an infringement over his entry to the pit lane.
Hailing the efforts of his team, Vasseur said: "It was a very good result to get back in the points, although there is still the feeling we could have achieved more with a cleaner race.
"But it was a very tough afternoon in which many things didn’t go in our favour, and to bring home a top-10 finish shows the strength and resilience of this team.
"To see a big chunk of floor and a front wing come off Kimi’s car before the first lap was over, and to lose Antonio from the race at the restart were big blows, but we dug deep and did all we could to turn the weekend around."
Appreciating the efforts of Raikkonen, in particular, who still managed to achieve a credible result despite the damage, Vasseur added: "The very eventful race, and the fact Kimi was forced to drive a damaged car for the whole race, mean our progress was somewhat masked.
"But to be able to open a gap to our rivals big enough to almost nullify the penalty we suffered in the closing stages shows how much of a step forward we have made.
"We are definitely going in the right direction and we can take a lot of motivation from the result.”
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