Giovinazzi not thinking of ‘22 options away from F1

Date published: October 2 2021 - Henry Valantine

Antonio Giovinazzi appears in the paddock.

Antonio Giovinazzi has not assessed his options away from Formula 1, as he is putting all his focus on retaining his Alfa Romeo seat.

The seat which the Italian currently occupies at Alfa is the only one left to be confirmed for 2022, leaving it unclear who will be Valtteri Bottas’ future team-mate.

As a result, Giovinazzi’s place in the sport has come under scrutiny, with a lengthy list of candidates in place to potentially replace him at Alfa next season.

However, the 27-year-old insists he is not going to give up his place easily, and maintains that he is not going to switch his focus onto a 2022 drive until his F1 future has been decided.

“To be honest, for now, I want to focus to keep this seat in Formula 1,” Giovinazzi said, quoted by Autosport.

“Then if in the worst case, I would start to think about next year. But for now, I just want to focus on my job here in F1, and try to keep my seat.”

Giovinazzi added that thoughts surrounding his current situation are “not a question for me”, but rather should be levelled at team principal Frederic Vasseur.

“The only thing I can do is just drive and get to more points and I hope that will be enough,” said the Italian.

Antonio Giovinazzi leaving the pits during Dutch Grand Prix qualifying. Netherlands September 2021

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Alpine junior driver Guanyu Zhou appears to be the current favourite to drive for Alfa Romeo next season, with a reported €30m worth of sponsorship money he could bring to the team (although the team deny this).

What the current F2 driver would bring, however, is enormous marketing opportunities for the team and sport by the arrival of a Chinese driver in Formula 1 for the first time.

Although Alfa have long had links with Ferrari, with Giovinazzi himself being a junior driver of the Scuderia, Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto has said that Ferrari “cannot influence the team decision” when it comes to Alfa making their choice.

 

Regarding where Giovinazzi will drive next season, the Ferrari boss said possibilities will be open for him in 2022, but he and his driver are both prioritising earning another year with Alfa at this time.

“I think a lot will depend on his willing, and what are Antonio’s interests for the future,” Binotto said.

“But I think that the first step, for sure, is to try to find a place and the seat in F1 for him, and it’s where we are fully focused at the moment.”