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Alfa Romeo reveals reason for unprecedented pit stop problem

Alfa Romeo reveals reason for unprecedented pit stop problem

F1 News

Alfa Romeo reveals reason for unprecedented pit stop problem

Alfa Romeo reveals reason for unprecedented pit stop problem
Ian Parkes & Will Gray

Alfa Romeo has explained the reasons behind the unusual mistake during Sunday’s Spanish Grand Prix that saw one of team’s mechanics handed a flat tyre to fit to the car of Antonio Giovinazzi.

Giovinazzi had pitted to take advantage of a safety car period but the mechanics were forced to hastily return to the garage to retrieve a new set of tyres when a puncture to the left-front tyre was discovered just after the car arrived in the pit box.

The issue left Giovinazzi stationary for more than 30 seconds and that delay, along with an added dashboard issue, meant he was unable to recover in time to get back to the main group of cars before the race restarted.

Xevi Pujolar, the team’s head of trackside engineering, explained: “It was just an operational problem in that the valve got damaged and there was no way to solve it at that point. There was no way back.

“Picking up the set at one point, when getting everything ready in the garage, that damaged the valve.

“We have a monitoring system and they saw it was okay when the race started but then at some point in the garage it went wrong, and that came a couple of laps before the pit stop.

“We should have been able to recover because it was a safety car, so if then we hadn’t had the other problem with the dash then I think we were pretty much there at the back of the group.”

Giovinazzi ended the race in 15th place, between the rival Williams cars of George Russell and Nicholas Latifi, in a race that Pujolar felt the Italian could have brought home points if the problems had not occurred.

“We wanted to have the two mediums, that was the plan with the strategy,” he added. “I think we would have been fighting for points because he would have been very well in position in what we could do with the tyres.

“But it is what it is. We know what went wrong and it will be fixed for the next race.”

Pujolar, however, refused to offer details on the exact nature of the operational issue encountered.

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