Antonio Giovinazzi admitted that luck played a big part in his Feature race victory at the Autodromo Nazionale Monza on Saturday, with the Italian climbing from the back row of the grid to take his fourth win of 2016.
Having been excluded from qualifying for a tyre pressure irregularity, the Prema Racing driver started the race on the harder of the two compounds of tyre and was running inside the top four when the safety car was deployed due to the crash between Arthur Pic and Sergio Canamasas at Lesmos.
Giovinazzi, as well as Raffaele Marciello and Gustav Malja ahead of him, were all able to pit and rejoin ahead of the safety car train, propelling the trio into the lead ahead of Pierre Gasly. Running in third, Giovinazzi was not to be denied, and passed Malja for second with two laps to go, then caught and passed Marciello for the lead on the final lap.
“A fantastic race,” said Giovinazzi. “After the start we had a good strategy and then some luck with the safety-car.
“In the closing stint I knew I would have had a good chance so I prepared the last three laps by saving the tyres. On the penultimate lap I managed to pass Malja and then in the closing one I moved on Marciello, putting together a great manoeuvre.
“I’m so happy with this result for both myself and Prema. From the back of the pack to victory, it’s been an Italian domination!”
Giovinazzi was also on form on Sunday, moving passed Malja once more and passed Jordan King to secure a podium finish behind team-mate Gasly and race winner Norman Nato, and now heads into the Malaysian round of the championship only ten points behind his team-mate in the standings.
“Once again a fantastic race,” said the Italian. “Starting from the 8th place, to score good points and aim for a podium finish was today’s goal.
“I’m so happy for the results we scored this weekend and I hope to continue in the same way tomorrow.”