Giovinazzi got the call to let Raikkonen pass him in the final stages of the race two weeks ago at Istanbul Park after being quickly caught by his teammate Alfa Romeo.
But Giovinazzi didn’t move away for Raikkonen as he pushed to catch Esteban Ocon for the final point in P10, losing 0.8 seconds at the checkered flag. Alfa Romeo’s track engineering manager Xevi Pujolar said after the race Giovinazzi “himself decided he wanted to stay ahead”.
Team principal Vasseur discussed the incident on Friday ahead of the United States Grand Prix, saying Giovinazzi had been too conservative in his approach late, but didn’t want to blame.
âAt one point Kimi pushed more, and we thought we could keep the tires, and we asked Antonio to either push or let him go,â said Vasseur.
âHe was probably too conservative, but I don’t want to blame him. But we had the discussion.
âHe was a bit lost with the amount of attack he has to do, for sure he could be a lot faster. And he was too conservative.
âWe clearly lost points, but I don’t want to blame Antonio for having the discussion. I think he was sticking to the plan and when we got the window to push more it took a couple of turns to figure out he could push more. It’s like that.
When asked if the team had purged the air with Giovinazzi, Vasseur replied, âYes. “
Giovinazzi’s future with Alfa Romeo remains uncertain beyond the end of the season as the team continue to assess driver options to partner with Valtteri Bottas in 2022.
Guanyu Zhou was supposed to lead the seat race, but the possibility of a Sauber buyout by Andretti has led to uncertainty as to how the team will proceed for the second seat.
Giovinazzi told Austin on Thursday that it was “not ideal” not to know if he would stay with Alfa Romeo for next season, accepting that there was “some pressure on me”.
Vasseur declined to comment on the situation surrounding the team’s ownership, but said he was “in no rush” to decide on the second seat.
“We have several options and we will make a decision soon,” he said.