“I think now was maybe not the right time after 23 Grand Prix,” says Giovinazzi as Ferrari opt against Italian in favour of Sainz
By Matt Morlidge
Last Updated: 11/06/20 12:52pm
Antonio Giovinazzi has told Sky Sports F1 he was “really happy” to be on the shortlist to replace Sebastian Vettel at Ferrari, but admits it was “not the right time” for him to make the dream 2021 Formula 1 move.
Giovinazzi, as the sole Italian on the F1 grid who graduated from the Scuderia’s driver academy, was touted as an outside contender to partner Charles Leclerc next season after impressing at Alfa Romeo in 2019.
However, Ferrari opted to look externally – and against having an Italian in the car for the first time since 1994 – by signing Carlos Sainz from McLaren.
“I’m still part of that family and I was really happy to have at least maybe the possibility to take that seat,” said Giovinazzi on the Sky F1 Vodcast.
“In my career I never had something easy, I always fight. And I think now was maybe not the right time after 23 Grand Prix. Last year I grew up really well during the year, but this year we haven’t raced so it’s really difficult for me.
“I’m still young so I’m sure if I continue like that and continue to fight, really work hard I can have that possibility.”
Questioned by Natalie Pinkham why it was not the right time – considering his Alfa Romeo predecessor Charles Leclerc only had one season before joining Ferrari – Giovinazzi, 26, alluded to different circumstances.
“I know that Charles also had one season and then went to Ferrari straight away, but from my side, if we’re looking back, we struggled also in the second part of the season with the car.
“So, also if I grew up like a driver, the result was not really there.
“But I’m still part of Ferrari and also what Mattia [Binotto, Ferrari boss] says, that they still follow me and follow especially on my career, it’s something really great.
“I’m sure that still working with Alfa Romeo, still we can do a great result together and this is my main target for now because it’s my team now.
“In the future we will see. I’m still a Ferrari driver so I’m sure I can maybe have the opportunity.”
Giovinazzi: Hamilton doing the right thing
Antonio Giovinazzi also pledged his support to Lewis Hamilton in his fight against racism and inequality.
Hamilton, F1’s six-time champion, has been posting passionately since the death of American George Floyd, and Giovinazzi himself tweeted earlier this month:
Fino a quando crederemo che le nostre differenze ci rendano superiori o inferiori l’uno all’altro, continueremo a vivere nell’ingiustizia.
As long as we believe that our differences make us superior or inferior, we won’t live in a just world.
JUSTICE FOR FLOYD ❤️🙏 pic.twitter.com/2eu3bAD2HY
— Antonio Giovinazzi (@Anto_Giovinazzi) June 1, 2020
And asked about that tweet, Giovinazzi added: “I’m an ambassador of Italy and I need to show the support from here. I think it was right to do, and it’s also right what Lewis is doing. “