As the lengthy Formula 1 hiatus caused by COVID-19 comes to a close, teams are ready to get back to the grid for the 2020 season to begin. Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN driver Antonio Giovinazzi is excited to get back on track and improve upon a less than ideal 2019 season.
The Italian struggled a lot more compared to his teammate Kimi Räikkönen, finishing 17th in the driver’s championship with only 14 of the team’s 57 total points. Rumors have also been swirling that he could potentially lose his seat if his performances don’t improve.
Despite the noise, Giovinazzi is ready to go for the Austrian Grand Prix this Sunday, the first race of the historic double header at the Red Bull Ring.
“We return to action this week and I cannot wait to be in the car. It has been a very sombre few months for everyone, and with my family and so many friends back home in Italy, I was particularly touched by it,” Giovinazzi said in a press release.
“To go back to racing feels like another step towards some sort of normality. I am curious to see how everyone does in Austria and to see what happens with two races in the same venue; it’s a first for Formula One so it will be something we will need to adapt to.
“As for being rusty after so many months away, I am not worried about that: I didn’t race for two years between 2017 and 2019, so, if anything, I will try to turn that into an advantage.”
At the 2019 Austrian Grand Prix, both Giovinazzi and Räikkönen finished in the points, 10th and 9th respectively, and will look to collect points once again.
After a disappointing end to the season with both drivers finishing outside of the points at the 2019 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Alfa Romeo team principal and CEO of Sauber Motorsport AG Frédéric Vasseur shared in the 26 year old Italian’s sentiment that potential rust and unpredictability could become an opportunity to score points this race weekend.
“It has been so long since the last race in Abu Dhabi, so obviously we are eager to go back to racing: this is what drives us on and what we have been working for all season.” Vasseur said in a press release.
“Of course, the situation will be different, given the restrictions forced on us by the pandemic: but we are confident in the measures the FIA and Formula One have taken to keep us all safe.
“The first race of the season is often a chaotic affair and that’s when opportunities arise: we will need to be ready to take any that come our way.
“Racing again here in a week’s time will be a new experience for all of us, but we expect the midfield battle to be so close to make both races really open and unpredictable.”