Antonio Giovinazzi feels his strong performances against Kimi Raikkonen should have been enough to see him retain his seat at Alfa Romeo.
The team are saying goodbye to both drivers at the end of the 2021 campaign, with Valtteri Bottas replacing the retiring Kimi Raikkonen and Guanyu Zhou eventually chosen as the Finn’s team-mate.
That ensured Giovinazzi’s exit at a team he has been with for the last three seasons and, since the confirmation, he has made his feelings very clear.
In a recent social media post, Giovinazzi made sure to mention that “money talks” in Formula 1 amid claims that Zhou will bring in as much as 30 million Euros a year in sponsorship while, on the track, the Italian driver has openly criticised the team via radio messages.
Giovinazzi’s continued criticism has not gone down well with Alfa Romeo team boss Frederic Vasseur, but that has not stopped him from once again expressing his disappointment over losing his seat.
“I was very disappointed with the choice of Alfa Romeo because I’m leaving F1 in my best year as a performer,” Giovinazzi is quoted as having told Radio2 by Formula Passion.
“Never mind the points, but in terms of qualifying and race results we were almost always ahead of Kimi Raikkonen, who is a World Champion and a good reference.
“It’s only a pity about that, but in the end unfortunately these things happen and it’s not the first time a driver like that [Zhou with his sponsors] has come in.”
While Giovinazzi has been openly critical of Alfa Romeo, he cannot have the same tone for Raikkonen.
Giovinazzi praised his legendary team-mate for supporting him throughout the years and being honest with his feedback.
“He has been a loyal companion, in F1 it is difficult to find loyal people,” Giovinazzi added.
“For me he was definitely a useful person in my career, who helped me a lot, as a reference to grow.
“He’s certainly not a person who talks a lot, but when I’ve asked him for something he’s always helped me and has never led me in the opposite direction.
“I have to be objective and he has been very generous.”
Raikkonen outscored Giovinazzi 43 points to 14 in their first year together as team-mates back in 2019 and 2020 saw the scores tied at 4-4.
And, barring any late-season miracles, Raikkonen is once again set to outscore Giovinazzi. The Finn currently leads 10-1 with two races left in the 2021 campaign.
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