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Bottas and Ricciardo pace "misjudged" by Alfa Romeo

Bottas and Ricciardo pace "misjudged" by Alfa Romeo

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Bottas and Ricciardo pace "misjudged" by Alfa Romeo

Bottas and Ricciardo pace "misjudged" by Alfa Romeo

Alfa Romeo head of trackside engineering Xevi Pujolar claimed the team 'misjudged the pace' of Valtteri Bottas and Daniel Ricciardo that led to a costly strategy error in the Mexico City Grand Prix.

Antonio Giovinazzi looked on course to register only his second F1 points finish of the season following a spectacular start at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez.

But the Italian was denied his opportunity when the team elected to bring him into the pits early to follow a recovering Bottas and Ricciardo and make use of their expected pace to jump further through the midfield.

"With Antonio, there was still a good chance to score points and everything was going to plan," explained Pujolar.

“For us, there was no incentive to go early if not needed but at one point he started to struggle with the rear tyres and we were looking at the traffic behind.

"Kimi [Raikkonen] was still with good pace and we had that group with Ricciardo and Bottas that came in early.

“We knew they were managing the tyres a bit so the last thing we wanted to do was have everyone compressed behind Antonio, and so we decided to box Antonio and we knew he would go with them, with Bottas and Ricciardo.

“What we misjudged here was the pace of these two guys. We thought that pace would be faster, or as fast as Kimi and all these guys."

After crossing the line in P11 for the third consecutive race, Giovinazzi sarcastically thanked Alfa Romeo for "the great strategy".

Asked if he had spoken to the Italian yet, Pujolar said: “At that point when we reacted, when he was struggling with the rear tyres and we boxed behind two fast cars, we didn’t expect these two fast cars to go slower than us.

“That is for sure not good but we didn’t know that at the time.

“Yeah, he understands. Obviously, he was disappointed because he was hoping to finish maybe P9.”

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