Antonio Giovinazzi was pleased to return to the driving seat of the C37-Ferrari on Friday morning as the Italian ran in place of Marcus Ericsson in the opening Free Practice at the Hockenheimring.
The test and reserve driver for the Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 Team completed twenty-three laps of the German circuit during the session, finishing nineteenth fastest, with the Scuderia Ferrari-backed Italian happy to complete the programme that had been planned for him and happy to be able to give good feedback to the engineers.
“It was a positive day, and nice to be back in the car again after a long time,” said Giovinazzi, who’s last outing with Sauber came in the post-Spanish Grand Prix test in May. “I really enjoyed the practice session.
“My target was to complete the planned programme and give good feedback to the team. I am really happy with that, and I can’t wait to be back in the car to build on this experience next week.”
Ericsson took back over the car for the second session and despite missing the morning’s track time, set the fourteenth fastest time and felt ‘in the groove’ around the Hockenheimring, despite it being Formula 1’s first visit to the track since 2016.
“Today went positively,” said Ericsson. “Missing out on FP1 puts you a bit on the back foot, but we had a clean FP2 and I completed the full programme we had planned, so I feel that I am back in the groove.
“The car feels good, and we have a foundation to build on. Our performance was good today, and we are in the mix in the midfield again, just like in the previous weekends. It will be tight tomorrow and on Sunday, and we have to make sure to maximise our performance on both days.
“I look forward to the rest of the weekend.”