Alfa Romeo is no longer at "zero" when it comes to this year's scoring performance. Antonio Giovinazzi’s tenth place in Monte Carlo secured the team its first point in 2021, and the team boss is full of words of praise for the Italian driver.
When he came to Alfa, given how he drove, many believed that Antonio Giovinazzi in Formula 1 would be just a passerby. However, the Italian is doing his third season and seems to be getting better. He scored the same number of points as his teammate Kimi Raikkonen last season, but he was more often faster than Finn in the qualifiers.
There is no doubt that Kimi, as a former world champion and winner of the 21st Grand Prix race in Formula 1, was a great role model and mentor to Giovinazzi. Sure Antonio could have learned a lot in the past seasons, but the time has come to turn to himself and stop thinking about what Raikkonen is doing.
Frederic Vasseur talks about how the 27-year-old Italian changed his approach. “One of the problems we’ve had in the past has been Antonio’s over-concentration on Kimi as a reference point, and he needs to be more focused on himself."
"I think there’s been a big change in the last 12 months when he learned to say, ‘Okay, now I’m going to concentrate on myself, I’m the one who can do the job and who will do the job.’ He really changed his approach, ”explains team boss Alfa Romeo Racing.
"It's not easy because often your teammate is your first yardstick, but he now takes his place on the team and that's important to us too." Asked if Antonio can be a team leader if Kimi decides to retire, Vasseur says, "I think he can because the feedback Antonio gives us is pretty good."
The results in the introductory part of the season speak in favor of that. In the qualifiers, Giovinazzi is currently 4-1 against Raikkonen, and at the Monaco Grand Prix, he brought his team its first point of the season.
"Obviously he made a big step between the two seasons, but it was already in the second half of 2020. If you look a little, he had decent qualifications in all races except in Imola, where he had a problem [with Mazepin]."
"In all other qualifiers, he led the team, and it is important for us to have stability. I think Antonio is maturing and improving. He was a bit… I don't know if the real term is unlucky, but he really had too much bad luck in the races that didn't make him score, but at least the speed was there.
” “The most important thing is that we have 23 races, and if the speed is there, then we will win points. Antonio is doing a good job, ”says Frederic Vasseur.