Alfa Romeo Racing Orlen’s C41 Launch on Monday has already been viewed on YouTube over 104 thousand times. The highlight for many tuning in would have been to see and hear from the idolised 2007 Formula One Drivers’ Champion Kimi Raikkonen. However, a man building his own reputation and defying the odds, having held onto his seat in 2021, is Antonio Giovinazzi. After the lavish launch of the C41, held in Warsaw, the live stream broadcasted the press conference as well. During the course of the launch, Antonio Giovinazzi explained how a podium position is a “dream” target for himself and Alfa Romeo while also sharing his thoughts on the proposed sprint racers.
In comparison to AlphaTauri’s brief launch of their AT02, what took place in Warsaw gave many journalists plenty to write about. One can only hope that with a revised Ferrari engine the C41 can also do its talking on track.
Antonio Giovinazzi is entering his third season with Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN. Despite the fact that as times it has felt like the young Italian has had a target on his back, he has held off any onlookers hoping to snatch his F1 seat. 2019 brought a fifth place finish to Giovinazzi following his exploits in track in Brazil. However, the under powered C39 meant that Giovinazzi could only muster 4 points over the course of the whole 2020 season. This total though was equal to that of his former F1 Drivers’ World Champion teammate – so maybe not too bad a performance after all.
Speaking to the international media at the launch of Alfa Romeo Racing Orlen’s C41, Antonio Giovinazzi exuded the signs of a more senior member in a team and his comments reflected this:
“Having two full seasons with the team means that I already know much better the people around me, so that our work can be better,” said Giovinazzi.
“Of course, the target is still the same: scoring a lot of points together. My dream would be to score a podium with this team, that would be at the top of our list, but first we need to see where we are in terms of performance and speed.
“I am confident that we can do very well this year. As a driver, I want to keep improving, like I did last year compared with the first season, and do another step forward.”
There is a lot of uncertainty as to what the new Scuderia Ferrari engine will bring the team having been so off the pace in 2020 as Giovinazzi explained:
“We know it may once again be a tricky one, but I am confident the hard work we all did during the winter in the factory will pay off. On my side, I have trained very hard and I am just looking forward to being in the car for the first test and then finally for the first race.”
Alfa Romeo has finished eighth in the F1 Constructors’ Championship for the last three seasons and there is little reason to suggest the proposed sprint races will suit their setup. When asked about the new format Giovinazzi replied:
“In the past I did something like this in F2 but it was a different one because it was a reverse grid. You know, Formula One is always trying something new, we will see what happens this year but it’s something, like I say, I already did and it was not too bad.”
We are all excited to see what happens in 2021 but be in no doubt - Antonio Giovinazzi is not your average racer.
The young Italian was the 2015 FIA Formula 3 European Championship runner-up; the 2016 International GP2 Series runner-up with Prema and the third driver for Scuderia Ferrari in Formula One in 2017. All of this got the young racer where he is today and as such he should not be underestimated.
Form is temporary but class is permanent. As such, with the C41 beneath him, I fully expect Antonio Giovinazzi to have his best ever year in F1 and as a result be around in F1 for a few more years to come.
Good luck Gio.
Another driver ready to play a more senior role in his team is AlphaTauri's Pierre Gasly: