Antonio Giovinazzi thought he’d get the Ferrari seat for 2021, and admits that he didn’t take the news that he wouldn’t well.
When it was announced prior to the start of the 2020 campaign that Sebastian Vettel would be leaving at the end of the year, various drivers were linked with the seat he left behind.
One of them was Giovinazzi as he was the only member of the Ferrari academy with experience in F1. Ultimately though, they went for Carlos Sainz instead.
The Italian admits that the decision hurt him, but still believes that he could one day drive for the team.
“Of course, I did not receive Ferrari’s decision very well. That seems clear to me,” he told Autosprint.
“I am still employed by Ferrari and I thought there would be a chance for me to race for the Scuderia. Maybe it just wasn’t the right time for me.
“Choosing Sainz does not mean that I will not be able to get that seat in the future. A seat at Ferrari will always be my dream.
“I have never received anything for free in my career. I have always had to work hard to earn a place.”
— Antonio Giovinazzi (@Anto_Giovinazzi) December 20, 2020
On the bright side, the Italian team did at least opt to keep him at Alfa Romeo. At one point, it looked like he was set to be replaced by Mick Schumacher, but the German eventually ended up with a Haas seat instead.
Looking ahead to his third season on the grid, Giovinazzi is aiming high.
“Right now I am focused on Alfa Romeo,” he added.
I want to help my team move forward as much as possible and that is why I would like to secure a place on the podium.
“To do that, I have to keep improving and seize my opportunities. Let’s see if that works in 2021.”
Despite failing to beat Kimi Raikkonen over the course of a season in their two together, Giovinazzi’s future at the team looks safe, with team principal Frederic Vasseur believing that Giovinazzi will ultimately step up into the role of a leader.
“I think the next step [for Giovinazzi] is to get more consistency during the race,” Vasseur told Motorsport-Total.com. “But he has been making good progress for a while and is improving in every area.
“He probably has to take the lead of the team on his shoulders to be able to take over some decisions. But we are on the way and he is getting better from race to race. And I’m pretty confident about the next season.”