Antonio GiovinazziAntonio Giovinazzi
Few countries can boast such a rich tradition of racing drivers as Italy, home to nearly a hundred racers to grace the Formula One grid. In this vein, it is a fitting coincidence that the 99th man from “the Beautiful Country” races in car number 99.
25-years-old Antonio Giovinazzi made his full-season debut in 2019 after a handful of cameos in 2017, when he deputised for the injured Pascal Wehrlein at Sauber. A skilled and energetic racer, he burst on the motorsport scheme with a breakout rookie season in GP2 Series in 2016. The Apulia native claimed five wins during that successful campaign, fighting for the championship until the final round and eventually claiming the runner-up spot. In the process, he nearly became one of just a selected club of drivers to win the championship in their debut season.
Antonio’s 2016 efforts earned him the pundits’ plaudits and the respect of the Formula One paddock. A race opportunity came earlier than expected, as he was called at short notice to replace Wehrlein for the first two races of the 2017 season. A convincing performance in the Australian Grand Prix, in which he became the first Italian on the grid in nearly six years, highlighted Antonio’s natural talent.
A couple of seasons of vital simulator work and practice sessions followed, until in 2019 the likeable Italian was given the opportunity to compete in a full F1 season. The call-up to Alfa Romeo Racing, alongside 2007 World Champion Kimi Raikkonen, makes up one of the most exciting line-ups on the grid, a combination of experience and youthful exuberance – one that can help the team climb the standings to new heights.
A highlight of Antonio’s season will without any doubt be this September’s Italian Grand Prix in Monza. The Temple of Speed, as the historical circuit is known, is famous for its passionate fans: with an Italian driver at the wheel of a car representing one of the country’s most prestigious brands, the local supporters won’t miss the chance to cheer on one of their own.