Alfa Romeo’s Antonio Giovinazzi says he “grew up like a driver” in 2019 after two years away from driving in F1.
The Italian driver came into 2019 almost as a rookie, but not quite, since he had taken part in the 2017 Australian and Chinese GPs in place of Pascal Wehrlein.
That would be his last experience of F1 though until 2019 when he received the call to join Alfa Romeo where he would partner 2007 World Champion Kimi Raikkonen.
After a tough start to life with the Swiss team Giovinazzi gradually improved over the course of the season, finishing with 14 points to his name.
And Giovinazzi feels like he definitely “grew up like a driver” in his first full season in the series.
“I was improving race after race,” he told Racefans.net.
“It was not easy to come back into the races after two years of stop. So my main target was improving race by race.
“I had a tough first part of the season.
“In the second part I think I learned and I improved and I grew up like a driver. This was one of my main targets.”
Giovinazzi’s future with the team was in serious doubt after he crashed out of the points late on in Spa, with Alfa Romeo principal Frederic Vasseur admitting that they were considering the Italian’s future.
He would bounce back at his home race in Monza though, and ultimately earned a new contract for 2020.
“I think after Monza also my motivation went higher and higher,” he said.
“After the second part of the season, I was quite happy with my performance.”
Giovinazzi’s best performance came at the Brazilian Grand Prix where he crossed the line P6 and was later promoted to P5 thanks to Lewis Hamilton’s penalty.
“This Brazil] was the best result for sure,” he said.
“I had a few of them [which were] also good like Singapore, like Monza. Also Spa before the crash was a really great race.
“[In Brazil] we put it all together, we had also a little bit more luck, a few of the guys in front stopped so we gained position. So it was overall the best race.”