The radio calls in F1 Tuscan GP showcased some of the struggles drivers like Romain Grosjean, Alexander Albon and Kimi Raikkonen had.
The troubles faced by Haas’ Grosjean and Alfa Romeo’s Raikkonen almost went un-noticed after a heavy contact for both in the opening lap of F1 Tuscan GP. Both were hit by AlphaTauri’s Pierre Gasly, the former on the right and the latter on the left.
In fact, Raikkonen had more trouble as he rammed into the back of Red Bull Racing’s Max Verstappen, who was already furious due to power issues to drop to the back of the field. From Grosjean side, he lost nearly two seconds a lap but managed to finish the race.
Post-race, he revealed that he almost retired but got his car going and scraped through the gravel, while Verstappen threw off his steering wheel in frustration. The radio on world feed had Grosjean spilling f-bombs but post that, he spoke at length about survival.
“I got crashed into,” Grosjean said initially. “I got f****ng crashed into. Those guys are absolutely nowhere. F**k! Who was that? Someone came on the inside from f****ng nowhere,” he summed up, before re-starting the car and tip-toing onto the track.
“I am trying to come back,” Grosjean continued. “I don’t know how the car is, there’s a bit of grass here, OK, uh, oh, OK! Let’s see if it actually goes straight or not” – asked if he had front wing damage – “it was a big hit but I don’t know if the front wing is damaged.
“Check everything suspension wise, there’s absolutely a ton of gravel on my back, which is lovely!” There was damage indeed but he was able to drive still with no safety issues. Post-race, he admitted that he was in it to just see if anything happens and he can score.
“At the first red flag I saw the state of the car, I didn’t know how we were going to keep racing, half of the left-hand side was missing,” said Grosjean after the race. “The guys said to hang in and we did our best. The last restart was fun.
“I managed to get up the order a bit. But when you’re missing about two seconds a lap, which we had calculated in aero damage, there’s not much you can do. That said, I’m very happy that we didn’t give up. Nobody can take that from us,” summed up Grosjean.
While he could continue along with Raikkonen, but both Gasly and Verstappen were not so lucky. AlphaTauri hastily asked the Frenchman, on radio, if he could push himself onto the track, to which, he sweared to say he was stuck for good.
At the same time, Verstappen was livid with the power issue and then getting taken out. Meanwhile, Raikkonen did not have it easy, even though, he managed to continue. The world feed played out his post-pitlane penalty radio call but not the other ones.
He was frustrated with the front wing adjustments, as he pushed through damages. On the first standing re-start, Raikkonen already started to complain about his front wing. “I have no chance to overtake, f**k, we have dropped the front wing way too much,” he said.
Later on in the race, he added: “How much are we lacking on the front wing side? Because this is f****ng awful. How can it take so long to do?” – engineer said we are on it – “F**k, it is just four clicks, we talked it out, just f****ng guess it” – engineer stated they can’t do anything about it.
But Raikkonen continued, “Now next stop, you get f****ng get the number right, this time, so we know where we put the front wing because otherwise we will not have tyres to finish the race, so make sure that you look everything,” – engineer acknowledged the message.
The Finn had a five-seconds penalty after cutting across to enter the pitlane but managed to end up ninth still to score his first points of 2020. “The crash took away part of my floor and my front wing,” said Raikkonen after the race.
“The damage made the handling of the car really bad and we struggled with the balance: we lost a lot of downforce but in the end we were still able to push at a decent pace. I had a slow pit stop but thankfully the second red flag got us back in the fight.
“Then I had a penalty for crossing the pit entry line, which didn’t help, but after the second red flag I was still able to do some good laps and in the end only lost one place. It was far from the perfect execution of a race but, despite all the issues, we still brought home two important points.”
Outside these two, another snippet missed totally, whether during or after the race, was Albon being stuck by a part of Stroll’s car which flew off into the Thai’s cockpit. While, the Halo wasn’t the core part of this incident but had the piece be a larger one, it would have saved the Red Bull racer.
Just as the red flag was deployed, Albon spoke about it on the radio which is engineer acknowledged. “Aargh! F**k! I got hit on the hand” – engineer asked if he is OK – “yeah, I am fine.” It is unclear if there was any chat later on about the same as he did not speak of the same post his maiden F1 podium finish.
Here’s more from F1 regarding radio chats: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FDrU45DmNBc
Here’s the Romain Grosjean portion: https://twitter.com/F1/status/1306127428209836036
Here’s Alexander Albon being fired up
Here’s Romain Grosjean, Kimi Raikkonen on Lap 1 incident