Giovinazzi has F1 exit clause if called upon – report

Date published: March 7 2022 - Mark Scott

Antonio Giovinazzi present at pre-season testing. Barcelona February 2022

There is, reportedly, a clear pathway for Antonio Giovinazzi to return to Formula 1 as he has an exit clause in his Team Penske contract.

Giovinazzi was not retained by Alfa Romeo for the 2022 season as they opted for an all-new driver line-up in the form of Valtteri Bottas and Guanyu Zhou.

This year, Giovinazzi is set to combine a reserve and development driver role with Ferrari – the Scuderia continuing to support the 28-year-old – with a full-time drive with Team Penske in Formula E.

But there is a chance, albeit a small one, that new opportunity could be cut short with a sudden driver opening at Haas.

Following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Haas announced via a statement over the weekend that they were cutting all ties with Nikita Mazepin and title sponsor Uralkali with immediate effect, meaning Mick Schumacher suddenly finds himself needing a new team-mate with the 2022 season approaching fast.

According to the BBC, Haas reserve driver Pietro Fittipaldi is part of a three-man shortlist which also includes Formula 2 World Champion Oscar Piastri and Red Bull-backed F2 driver, Jehan Daruvala.

Oscar Piastri arms crossed watching from the sidelines in testing. Barcelona February 2022

But Giovinazzi’s name is also been thrown into the ring by other outlets, too, given his strong connection to Haas’ engine suppliers Ferrari.

The fact that Giovinazzi is currently competing in Formula E is not a roadblock in the ex-Alfa Romeo driver making a quick return to the Formula 1 grid, according to Gazzetta della Sport, because apparently there is a clause in his contract which allows him to leave for a Formula 1 drive.

With pre-season testing in Bahrain beginning on Thursday, Haas are expected to make an announcement with the next 48 hours on the plans to replace Mazepin.

 

Prior to his exit in 2021, Giovinazzi completed three full seasons in Formula 1 with Alfa Romeo, finishing P17, P17 and P18 in the Drivers’ World Championship.