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F1 | Coulthard: “No one is giving Giovinazzi the merits he deserves”

David Coulthard says Antonio Giovinazzi is a "quality driver" who is not given the credit he deserves for his performances this year with Alfa Romeo Racing.

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F1 | Coulthard: “No one is giving Giovinazzi the merits he deserves”
Fuente imagen: twitter.com/alfaromeoracing

The future of Antonio Giovinazzi has been one of the biggest topics of discussion in Formula 1 in recent weeks, with the Alfa Romeo runner-up now the only one yet to be confirmed for 2022.

With 42-year-old Kimi Raikkonen announcing his retirement and Valterri Bottas set to replace him; a host of contenders are looking to take their place alongside the Fin next year.  

However, based on Alfa Romeo’s boss Frédéric Vasseur the Italian Ferrari Driver Academy driver remains one of the candidates to retain his place with the Hinwil-based team for 2022.

Many of the applicants for Antonio Giovinazzi's current spot have seemingly fallen by the wayside or moved elsewhere, with Alex Albon moving to Williams, Nico Hulkenberg ruling himself out, Nyck de Vries (Formula E world champion) falling by the wayside and talented teenager Theo Pourchaire considered a bit too young for now.

IndyCar driver Colton Herta has emerged as a surprise contender to move up to Formula 1 next year, but with Andretti Autosport rumoured to have pulled out of takeover talks for the Sauber Group, which owns the Alfa Romeo Racing team, Giovinazzi may now be in a better position to keep his spot in 2022.

Yet, there is still an incognita – all signs point to Chinese F2 racer Guanyou Zhou stepping up to F1 with the Swiss squad thanks to a generous sponsorship package.

Given his form alongside a World Champion like Kimi Raikkonen in the Alfa garage, Coulthard believes the Italian deserves a spot on the Formula 1 grid next year.

"Antonio is a quality driver," the former McLaren and Red Bull driver told Gazzetta dello Sport. "I think he has speed, intelligence, he's a nice guy, which is always a good thing for partners and sponsors. Of course it's always going to be complicated when you're in a team like Alfa, where you're connected to the main Ferrari team."

"But the Ferrari team has two young drivers, so there is no clear path for him to get there.

And because you are connected to Ferrari, this is probably a limited opportunity to go to other teams”, added the former F1 driver.

“So at the moment I hope he's able to secure his future with Alfa and then I'm sure what he can do alongside Bottas. I think that's the best chance for him”.

Looking at Giovinazzi's relative performances this season, Coulthard insists the Italian's efforts are not being fully appreciated. "I think Kimi is a fast driver”, he said.

People maybe don't give Antonio the credit he deserves for being a little bit ahead of Kimi, which is the trend this year.

I think he was a couple of tenths ahead of Kimi in qualifying. It's not something I've been able to do very often in my time when I was alongside Kimi and, of course, time passes, but I hope he's able to continue there and then see what happens in the future."


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