After yesterday’s announcement of extending its deal with the swiss based Sauber Alfa Romeo today confirmed it will retain its current drivers line up for the next year and has signed a new one-year deal with both Kimi Raikkonen and Italian Antonio Giovinazzi.
Since this season has started there were numerous rumors circulating around the paddock regarding the next year line up of Alfa Romeo.
After Perez was stripped off of his Racing Point seat, he looked favorite to replace any of the two drivers at Alfa Romeo but today’s announcement put water to that rumor and now Perez appointment at the Williams is getting more and more likely.
Second driver to be associated with the Alfa Romeo’s seat for next year was Micahael Schumacher’s son and this years F2 championship leader Mick Schumacher.
Mick Schumacher was set to make his F1 debut at FP1 of Eifel GP, Nurburgring but that session was wiped out by the rain and was rumored to replace Giovinazzi courtesy of FDA.
Raikkonen whose 41 will be racing in his 20th F1 season next year in past few months Raikkonen camp has reiterated that signing the next year’s deal is under his discretion and Swiss team is interested in keeping him for next year.
Raikkonen even though he will be turning 42 next year is all motivated for embarking the next years challenge and helping out the team for 2020.
“Alfa Romeo Racing is more than a team to me, it is like a second family,” said Raikkonen.
“So many of the faces that were around me when I made my F1 debut in 2001 are still here and the unique atmosphere of this team is what gives me that extra motivation to keep going in what will be my 19th season in the sport, next year.
Raikkonen feels the teams project is strong and they will be doing good next year and if not for that he wouldn’t have signed.
“I wouldn’t be here if I didn’t believe in the team’s project, and in what we feel we can achieve together. This is a team that values hard work over words and this fits well with my style: I am looking forward to next year and hopefully making some steps forward towards the front of the midfield with the team.”
Antonio Giovinazzi whose F1 future totally depended upon the Alfa Romeo whether to retain him or replace him but he feels he had done enough to earn his seat for the next year.
“Alfa Romeo Racing has been my home in F1 for the last two seasons,” said the Italian. “And I am happy this relationship can continue for one more year.
“The team has put a lot of faith in me and I have done my best to repay this confidence with hard work and commitment.
He believes like Raikkonen that team is heading in a right direction and his goal is to take team to even higher levels.
“We have achieved some good results and I feel I have done my part to make the team progress, but the road ahead is still long and there is much more we want to achieve together.
“There will be a lot of continuity between this season and the next one, so everything we work on between now and the end of the year will already count for next, and we are ready to give it all we have.”
Team Principal Fred Vasseur is also happy about the decision of retaining the current line up and thinks both drivers are the perfect combination going into next year and will produce good results next year.
“I am very pleased for the team to continue working with Kimi and Antonio for another season.” said the Frenchman.
“Kimi is a driver who needs no introduction. His talent has been clear to everyone since 2001, and I still see the passion and motivation in him every time I see him at work.
“He can be trusted to deliver 100% of what the car can produce and he is a true leader for the people working around him.
“Antonio finished last year’s campaign strongly and he picked up where he left off and kept improving throughout 2020.
"From the track to the engineering briefings, Antonio has played a crucial role for our team, and he has thoroughly deserved a new contract for 2021.
“His work ethic, commitment to the team and contagious enthusiasm are a huge asset for Alfa Romeo Racing.”