Sep.17 (GMM) Italian officials are calling on government support to keep Antonio Giovinazzi in Formula 1.
With Sebastian Vettel confirmed to be staying at Aston Martin next year, it means Giovinazzi’s Alfa Romeo seat is the last realistic vacancy for 2022.
The frontrunner to replace the 27-year-old Italian appears to be Guanyu Zhou, who according to reports is offering up to EUR 30 million in Chinese sponsorship backing.
At Monza, though F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali said he hoped to keep the sport’s only Italian driver on the grid for 2022.
That is now being echoed by Angelo Sticchi Damiani, president of Italy’s automobile club Aci.
“He is a great driver,” he told Pitlane TV, “and we have not yet been able to give him the opportunity to truly show his full potential.
“I hope the Italian government takes into account all the value he has and does something to help.
“We are talking, of course, about the suitcase with the necessary quantity inside for his continuity in Formula 1,” Damiani clarified.
Giovinazzi has the backing of Ferrari’s driver academy, but Damiani admits that may no longer be enough to secure a place on the F1 grid.
“It is not like the F1 of the past, when good drivers had no problems to keep racing,” he said.
“The drivers who are really worth it of course are there, but so too are the ones that have more numbers in the bank account to contribute to the team.
“It is our obligation to defend Antonio and give him the opportunity to continue to show his true potential in Formula 1 and develop the way he deserves,” Damiani added.