GP2 runner-up Antonio Giovinazzi has finally been snapped up by a Formula 1 team, but not in a race seat.
Having won five races and almost taken the GP2 title at his first attempt, it’s fair to say Giovinazzi had a pretty good 2016.
His plans for 2017 have started to take shape too, as he’s been confirmed as Ferrari’s third driver in F1 next year (replacing Jean-Eric Vergne).
Giovinazzi graduated from Formula 3 to GP2 this year and made an immediate impact with newcomers Prema Racing.
He had a tough start to the year and didn’t score a point until Baku, going on to claim five victories in total, with three further podiums.
The Italian almost became the first driver since Nico Hulkenberg in 2009 to be crowned GP2 champion at their first attempt.
He was just pipped to the post though by team-mate and Red Bull junior Pierre Gasly. We’re not sure if Giovinazzi will be back to give it another go, but completing the post-season test in Abu Dhabi is a possible sign he will return to GP2.
Giovinazzi will be pretty busy if he does, though, thanks to his new third driver role at Ferrari in F1 for 2017.
He wasn’t previously linked with an F1 team, but did have a simulator session with Ferrari earlier in the year.
Ferrari president Sergio Marchionne confirmed his appointment as the team’s third driver at a pre-Christmas media lunch.
Apparently, Maurizio Arrivabene said he’ll start a sim programme in January and will try out a 2017 F1 car during in-season testing.
The future certainly looks bright for young Giovinazzi, and rightly so!