Giovinazzi Set For Second Year on Sidelines as F1 Drive Fails to Materialise


Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd

Antonio Giovinazzi is facing a second consecutive season without a race programme in 2018, with the Scuderia Ferrari test driver ever increasingly likely to focus again on his work with the Maranello-based team.

The Italian made two starts with the Sauber F1 Team at the beginning of 2017 as a replacement for the injured Pascal Wehrlein, but aside from a testing opportunity with Ferrari in Bahrain and a handful of free practice sessions with the Haas F1 Team, that was the full extent of his racing duties.

Giovinazzi was one of the drivers to be linked with the Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 Team for a 2018 race seat but missed out when they signed Charles Leclerc and Marcus Ericsson, and now it looks likely the 2016 GP2 Series runner-up will again be without an opportunity to race.

“At the moment, I will still be the third driver for Scuderia Ferrari, so I have a lot of jobs back at Maranello in the simulator, going to every race weekend and staying there with Ferrari,” said Giovinazzi to Crash.net.

“Then we will see. Also last year I had no expectation to make my first ever F1 grand prix, and then it happened in Melbourne. It’s still a long year, but we’ll see what happens.”

Giovinazzi could still could race in 2018 but the twenty-four-year-old admits it will all depend on what Ferrari want to do with him.

“We don’t know yet. We need to see how it is with Ferrari,” said Giovinazzi. “But for now I’m focused just on the job with Ferrari, and then we’ll see.”

Giovinazzi has been joined in the Ferrari Developmental programme by former Red Bull Racing and Scuderia Toro Rosso driver Daniil Kvyat in 2018, and the Italian is unsure to just how the Russian’s arrival will affect his own work.

“I’ve raced with him back in karting,” said Giovinazzi to Express Sport. “He’ll be there in Ferrari but I don’t know the programme of him. Maybe [I’ll work with him] but I don’t know.”