Antonio Giovinazzi says he’s happy to “follow” Kimi Raikkonen again in 2021 as the pair enter their third straight season as team-mates.
Giovinazzi and Raikkonen first drove alongside each other in 2019, the former’s rookie season, and both kept their Alfa Romeo seats in 2020.
For much of the year, it looked like one would surely be dropped for the following year with Mick Schumacher working with the team and Nico Hulkenberg being linked. Ultimately though, Schumacher joined Haas and, once again, the Alfa Romeo lineup remained unchanged.
Giovinazzi feels that sharing a garage with Raikkonen has taught him a lot and made him a better driver, and he’s eager for the partnership to continue in 2021.
“With Kimi next to me, I think I can make even more steps next season,” he told Motorsport.com.
“It will be very important to follow him because as I have said many times before, he is still one of the best drivers on the grid, especially in terms of race pace and race management. I am happy to continue working with him.”
In the pair’s first season together, Raikkonen came out on top comfortably, scoring 43 points to Giovinazzi’s 14 and usually being comfortably quicker.
Things were much closer in 2020 though as the younger driver managed to match Kimi’s tally of four points and beat him on a more regular basis on Saturdays and Sundays compared to the previous year.
He says that the improvement in fortunes was due to his experience, and he is therefore feeling good heading into is the third season on the grid.
“When I started here I focused more on Kimi, to see what he did and why. I almost always followed him,” the Italian added.
“But last year I got more experience and I started to know better what the team wants and what I want. Experience makes a lot of difference in any category, but maybe even more so in Formula 1.
“After two years and many more races, I feel ready for next season, I already made a good step last year, but I am even more confident for next season.”
The car that the two of them will be driving next season will soon be known, with the reveal taking place in Poland on February 22.