‘Positive atmosphere’ around Ferrari’s new engine

Jon Wilde
Antonio Giovinazzi

Antonio Giovinazzi

Antonio Giovinazzi is encouraged by the “positive atmosphere” surrounding the new Ferrari engine which will power the Alfa Romeo this year.

Along with Ferrari themselves and Haas, the Scuderia’s other customer team, Alfa Romeo, endured a poor 2020 campaign – and it can be no coincidence that they all had the same brand of power unit.

The main priority heading into the 2021 season at Maranello has been to develop a more competitive engine that will lessen the chances of all three teams that use it finishing in the bottom half of the constructors’ World Championship standings – which happened in 2020.

It will be very difficult for Alfa Romeo to finish much higher than the P8 they occupied last term, given the regulations remain relatively static compared to what lies ahead in 2022.

But Giovinazzi, who retains close links to Ferrari having had his recent career managed by them, thinks the new engine should help his team improve considerably on their paltry total of eight points.

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“I hope we can be closer to AlphaTauri and to the midfield,” said the 27-year-old Italian during an interview with RTL.

“The power unit will be important, but we have only data so far – the final data will be on the track.

“They [Ferrari] are positive. We don’t know the amount we will gain, especially because we don’t know how much the others will improve. This we will only know in Bahrain [pre-season testing from March 12-14].

“The good thing is that at Ferrari there is a positive atmosphere, especially for the power unit, but we also need to know what Mercedes and Renault did with their engines. We will see in Bahrain when the first lap times come out and we can have a look.”

Giovinazzi, who, like his team-mate Kimi Raikkonen, scored four drivers’ points last year, believes there is a good performance barometer from the 2020 Bahrain Grand Prix having taken place less than four months before pre-season testing is held at the same venue.

“I think we have fresh data from Bahrain at the end of November, so we can compare the power unit and the car compared to last year, which is a good point for us,” said Giovinazzi.

“But we need to just wait and see where we are.

“The target is quite simple – to be better compared to last year, to have the possibility to spend more time in the top 10 and score more points by the end of the year. That’s the main target.

“The regulations are quite similar from last year, but you can see the front of our new car is different from the previous one, so this is one point where we focus more, plus the power unit will be different so we’ll see. To know how good it is we just need to wait [to be] at the track.”

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