Antonio Giovinazzi was under consideration for the 2021 Scuderia Ferrari drive, but Team Principal Mattia Binotto felt it was too soon to promote the Italian to the seat, feeling he needs more time in the sport before being thrust into the spotlight of a top team.
Ferrari opted to bring in Carlos Sainz Jr. following the announcement that Sebastian Vettel will leave the team at the end of 2020, with the Spaniard being signed on a two-year contract to partner Charles Leclerc.
Giovinazzi, who has been a part of the Ferrari set-up since 2017 and made his full-time race debut in 2019 with Alfa Romeo Racing, was considered for the seat but his relative lack of experience worked against him, with Binotto feeling he needs more time in Formula 1 before being promoted to a front running team. He insists, however, that the twenty-six-year-old remains a key part in Ferrari’s plans for the future.
The Italian scored only fourteen points during 2019 compared to team-mate Kimi Räikkönen’s forty-three points, with a best finish of fifth coming in the Brazilian Grand Prix. He comes into 2020 with the veteran Finn and former Ferrari driver still as his team-mate but with more experience, particularly after coming into his rookie season having been out of racing for nearly eighteen months.
“Antonio is a boy whom I respect a lot,” said Binotto to Sky Sport Italia. “Last year he made his first season in Formula 1, switching to Ferrari after a year I think it requires too much responsibility.
“He has to keep his shoulders [high], we count on his growth and we will help him. He is part of our plans, but he still has to experience [more] in F1.”