At Alfa Romeo, Antonio Giovinazzi and Kimi Raikkonen will enter their third season of collaboration in Formula 1. The situation is ideal for Giovinazzi, of which it will also be the third complete campaign in the elite: he is able to make his ranges alongside a World Champion, who is moreover the most experienced driver of all time with 330 Grand Prix starts.
Thanks to the advice of his teammate, the 27-year-old Italian expects to continue his progress. “With Kimi by my side again, I think I can take another step forward”, he believes with Motorsport.com. “It will be really important to watch him because I think, as I have said many times, that he remains one of the best on the grid, especially in race pace and race management. glad to continue with him. “
So far, the balance of power has been fairly balanced between the two men, who are on an equal footing in qualifying. The balance sheet was clearly favorable to Räikkönen until the 2019 summer break, with 31 points to 1, but since then Giovinazzi has a very slight advantage: 17-16. The transalpine pilot does not hide having been inspired by his partner to succeed.
“When I got there [en 2019], I tried to focus on Kimi, to see what he was doing and why he was doing it “, he explains. “In the end, I always followed him, I would say. But [en 2020], I took more experience and I know what [l’équipe] wants and what I prefer – especially on different tracks in different conditions. Experience makes a big difference in every category, maybe more in Formula 1. “
“I think I’ll feel better prepared after two years and after a lot more races. I just want to feel more comfortable with everything: with the car, with the team. I’ve made a good move in before [en 2020], but I think[en 2021] I will feel much more confident again. “
And this 2021 season will prove to be crucial, once again. Giovinazzi has resisted pressure from young wolves like Callum Ilott to keep the seat reserved for a protégé of the Scuderia in Hinwil, but will have to continue to prove himself. “For Ferrari it’s relatively clear: they want me to continue my progression as a driver and get the results”, recognizes the Alfa Romeo driver. “It’s relatively clear from me as well, so that’s my goal for next season.”
“On the other side, I just want to keep working really well with the team, like we’ve done the last two seasons. I already see them as family, because it’s going to be my third season. good to work together again, as well as with Kimi. It’s easier to progress as a driver that way. “
And despite the freezing of the chassis, Giovinazzi dreams of seeing his team make a leap in the hierarchy, after spending the 2020 season at the back of the grid. “Hopefully we will have a better car and it will be easier to get into the points. Hopefully a big improvement in performance, and also in results.”, he asserts.
“I think for the team, when you’re behind, it’s not easy. I always try to motivate the team to always perform well. I think we did pretty well in the end – I still see guys pretty motivated. Of course when you score points you always feel a lot more motivated for the next race, but I can’t complain about my guys, my team, because they always work very hard, and so on. ‘good to see that in a difficult season. “
Interview by Alex Kalinauckas