Sauber has finalised its 2019 driver line-up with the news that Giovinazzi will race for the team alongside Kimi Raikkonen. Talk about a mix of experience and youth!
Giovinazzi did a couple of races for the team at the start of 2017, subbing for an injured Pascal Wehrlein. As a Ferrari junior driver he’s done plenty of testing for the Scuderia, and has also had time doing practice sessions for Haas last year. He’s also had a couple of FP1’s for Sauber this year and will now finally have a proper chance to prove himself in a race seat. He said:
“I am delighted to be joining the Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 Team. This is a dream come true, and it is a great pleasure to have the chance to race for this team. As an Italian, it is a huge honour for me to represent a brand as iconic and successful as Alfa Romeo in our sport. I would like to thank the Scuderia Ferrari and the Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 Team for giving me this great opportunity. I am very motivated and cannot wait to start working towards achieving great results together.”
Sauber team principal Frédéric Vasseur added:
“We’re very pleased to reveal the complete driver line-up for the 2019 season. We first signed Kimi Räikkönen, an extremely experienced driver who will contribute to the development of our car and will accelerate the progress of our team as a whole.
“Together with Alfa Romeo, we are delighted to welcome Antonio Giovinazzi, who will take the place of Charles Leclerc. We have already had the opportunity to work with him in the past and he has proven to have great potential. We are very determined and motivated. Our target is to continue progressing and fighting together for positions that count.”
The flipside is that Marcus Ericsson is now without a race seat, although he is staying on with the team as third driver and brand ambassador. It could prove to be a savvy move if Kimi ever gets fed up…