Ex-F1 team owner, Giancarlo Minardi, thinks Ferrari should have picked Antonio Giovinazzi – but he is still happy with acquisition of Carlos Sainz for 2021.
Giovinazzi, with his strong ties to Ferrari, was linked by the Italian press when potential candidates did initially emerge over Sebastian Vettel’s race seat.
But Scuderia boss Mattia Binotto said that the Italian was not ready for the opportunity and still needed to ply his trade with Alfa Romeo.
Minardi, though, thinks Giovinazzi would have been the best option if Ferrari did want a clear number two driver and to re-establish a strong Italian connection with the team.
“I would have given (Antonio) Giovinazzi a chance,” Minardi said via Italy’s Radiobox show.
“It would have also protected the feeling of Italianism at this historical time.
“I must also say, however, that I have always believed in Carlos Sainz.
“7,8,9 years ago, when he hadn’t yet arrived in Formula 1 and ran in the World Series Renault, I had recommended him to the Ferrari Driver Academy because I liked him very much.
“I presented Carlos Sainz as an option to Ferrari again when Kimi Raikkonen was leaving because he is a fast driver brings the car home, brings a lot of points and he has a particular character.
That certain type of character reminds him of a former Ferrari driver in Michele Alboreto.
“In the 1980s I introduced [at Ferrari] a driver similar to him, called Michele Alboreto, and I told them that as a type of character and in the way he presented himself, he had all the requirements to be a Prancing Horse driver.
“Being one isn’t easy.
“So I have to say that although I won’t go into the details of the choice between Giovinazzi and Sainz – it is a decision that I ultimately approve.”