Nyck De Vries and Guanyu Zhou almost crashed at the end of the race in Monza, which earned the Dutchman a summons to the stewards. Plagued by delicate brakes and responding to an order from his team, he only received a reprimand, to which Xevi Pujolar, director of engineering for Alfa Romeo F1, responded.
« It was a bit strange because De Vries suddenly slowed down in a way that Zhou didn’t expect » said Pujolar. « And actually, if he hadn’t been able to dodge it, he could have hit him from behind. On that one, it wasn’t ideal. »
« A driver shouldn’t drive like that in this situation because it could be dangerous. Then the stewards decided it was fine, and there was no action other than what happened, so we take note of this. But Zhou was surprised by this action. »
Zhou tried several times to get rid of the Dutchman’s Williams, in vain. Pujolar explained the challenge this represented for the Chinese driver, but was nevertheless pleased to bring the point back from tenth place.
« Yeah, we had a chance. I think there were a few laps where we had a good chance. He lost draft to [Pierre] Gasly, then Max [Verstappen] came and overtook us, so we must have lost some time at that point. »
« Overall I think it was a good battle but of course I would prefer to stay in front because I think we had a bit more pace except on the straight where we all know they are. are super fast. I’m happy for the team and I think everyone deserves it, here and at the factory. »
Zhou reveals that De Vries defended his place dearly, and that despite his will to take him, he preferred to secure the blow: « He was moving quite late in the braking zone, so for me it was quite difficult to dive. But you still have to understand it. »
« From my side I was very focused on the race, I knew I couldn’t take any risks because I knew how badly he wanted the points and how badly I wanted the points for the team. was therefore difficult until the finish, but overall I’m happy to have finished where we were. »