Ahead of the Russian GP, MotorLAT had an exclusive interview with Antonio Giovinazzi. In the first part, we talked on his expectations for his future and what he wants to achieve both in this event in particular and more in general for the end of this season. If you have missed it and you wish to catch up, just click this link: https://www.motorlat.com/notas/f1/22185/f1-part-1-of-motorlat-039-s-exclusive-interview-with-antonio-giovinazzi-to-partner-bottas-next-year-i-have-to-be-fast-and-take-some-points-home-that-s-my-only-weapon/amp/
In the Part 2 of our chat, we asked for an insight on the new rules, new format and new ideas of the sport according to him and his relationship with his teammate, 2007 World Champion Kimi Raikkonen.
Asked if he thinks it’s still possible to catch up Williams in the Constructors’ Championship, Giovinazzi said that even it might seem difficult, everything can happen.
“The odds are against us, as we are some points behind Williams, but I wouldn’t say it is impossible – he tells MotorLAT. – I believe we have to stay positive and keep improving and doing our best, as a crazy race can always turn everything.”
In Monza, he had the chance to try for the second time the Sprint Race format, and the Italian thinks it is good format for the fans.
“It is better for the fans, especially the ones that are right there- he explains – as they can watch a Qualy on Friday, on Saturday they can watch a first race and on Sunday there is the main one. For us drivers, there is still something to tweak. In the Sprint Qualifying on Saturday it’s difficult to overcome but we have another go. It’s not up to us to decide but I’m sure they will decide for the best.”
A voi che ci siete sempre. Dagli spalti, dalla proltrona di casa, dal bar.— Antonio Giovinazzi (@Anto_Giovinazzi) September 13, 2021
A tutti voi, che non importa da dove, ma il vostro calore arriverà sempre dritto al cuore💙
Grazie ancora una volta.
Antonio#ItalianGP #AlfaRomeoRacing #AG99🐝 pic.twitter.com/7T9EsyBMAl
Reverse Grid: yes or no?
“I had a first experience with the Reverse Grid in GP2 already, and it was cool because it opens up to new possibilities in the race. On Saturday it could be interesting for sure, as it would make the actual format more open hence more interesting. We will see, but my past experience with the reverse grid has been very positive.”
We ask if he regards it as a chance for the sport to renew and get fresher, giving more possibilities to drivers and teams. Giovinazzi said he has hopes in the new regulations.
“I hope that the next year, with the new regulations coming out, will fulfil our expectations, hence cars that can be closer to one another. Even with the actual format, with Qualy on Saturday and race on Sunday, closer cars can lead to beautiful races. That’s what I would focus on, before changing the format to increase races”.
Recently, we learnt about the decision to apply the usual three-day format to Monaco too. Giovinazzi thinks it can be a good option.
“Well, a three-day format is good for us, as Thursday is a bit of a lost day. On a tricky circuit like Monaco, it’s not great to have a stop day. We would have the opportunity to keep the feeling with both our car and the track without having to interrupt it. We can stay in the car and keep driving, and improving our confidence, which is great on a street track.”
In 2021, Giovinazzi is concluding his third full-season in F1. What’s the aspect where he feels he's improved most?
“Race management, of course – he explains – in Formula 1 that’s the most important aspect. Comparing to other categories, we have a race that’s much longer and you have much more aspects to focus on. You have: tyre management, fuel management, you have to check your power unit… there is much to keep under control that you don’t find in other categories. So, race management is definitely the aspect I’ve studied more and on which I’ve improved more. The whole weekend is harder to manage, as we have meetings with media, the teams, there aren’t this keen elsewhere, and you have to do everything and in the meantime save your energies for the track.”
2021 will also be the last season in F1 for Kimi Raikkonen. MotorLAT asked Antonio how much did he learn from him since they became teammates and what does he think are Iceman’s best qualities both on and off the circuit.
“Kimi has been my ideal teammate to start with in F1 – he says – he is not a political person and is so experienced. He helped me a lot to grow in the race pace and in race management.”
“He has so many positive notes both on and off the track. – Antonio continues - On the track, he is great in race management and I look at him at one of the best. Out of the track, I appreciate that he’s a man of few words, he just focuses on facts which involve racing and it something that is very helpful in this environment.”