Alfa: Raikkonen/Giovinazzi crash a "misunderstanding"

Alfa Romeo Formula 1 team boss Fred Vasseur says that the clash between Antonio Giovinazzi and Kimi Raikkonen in the sprint qualifying event at Interlagos was a "misunderstanding."

Alfa: Raikkonen/Giovinazzi crash a "misunderstanding"

Raikkonen was knocked into a spin by his teammate Giovinazzi early in the event while the two cars were battling with Fernando Alonso's Alpine.

However, the incident was not pursued by the FIA stewards, but Vasseur confirmed that his drivers had talked it through after the flag and agreed it was a racing incident.

Giovinazzi finished the sprint in 13th place, while Raikkonen recovered to 18th place.

The Finn is set to start Sunday's Sao Paulo GP from the pitlane after the team changed the specification of his rear wing in an attempt to gain better straight-line speed, and allow him to overtake in the main event.

Any such parc ferme change automatically triggers a pitlane start.

"I think it was more a misunderstanding," Vasseur told Autosport. "Because they overtook Alonso, one on the left hand side, one on the right hand side.

"I think Kimi didn't expect to have Antonio on the apex. It is like it is. They had a good chat together, and they are very relaxed at the end of the day. They had a very open and nice discussion.

"It's a shame because the pace of Antonio was good. He damaged the car a little bit, but the pace was good. If we'd had the two cars in 12th and 13th we could have put them into the points, but let's see. We still have a good opportunity."

Sebastian Vettel, Aston Martin AMR21, Kimi Raikkonen, Alfa Romeo Racing C41, Nicholas Latifi, Williams FW43B, Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes W12, and the remainder of the field

Sebastian Vettel, Aston Martin AMR21, Kimi Raikkonen, Alfa Romeo Racing C41, Nicholas Latifi, Williams FW43B, Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes W12, and the remainder of the field

Photo by: Jerry Andre / Motorsport Images

Giovinazzi said he was not concerned that a collision with his team mate would lead to issues with his team once he got back to the garage.

"I wasn't worried, I knew that there was nothing to do there in that moment," he told Autosport.

"We were three cars on the straight, and then on the braking Kimi also couldn't see me on the inside, so I had no space to avoid him.

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"In the race I'm P13, so we gained one position. The pace is not too bad so we need to see what will be the best strategy."

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