The case for Antonio Giovinazzi – his top five F1 performances

The 2017 season-opener was his first appearance as Ferrari’s reserve driver and Giovinazzi received a call from Sauber on Saturday morning. Pascal Wehrlein hadn’t fully recovered from his Race of Champions crash some months before and the Italian was needed to step in.

Despite only having FP3 to learn a track which was new to him, in a car he had never driven before, Giovinazzi all but matched incumbent team-mate Marcus Ericsson in qualifying for the Australian Grand Prix.

He started 16th, before putting in an assured race performance to finish 12th in the race. For a rookie thrown in at the deep end at the final hour, this was impressive stuff.

2019 Austrian GP

Giovinazzi brought home the first-ever point in Austria

Giovinazzi was handed a full-time seat at Alfa Romeo for 2019, but it wasn’t until Austria that the Italian scored his first points.

Having initially struggled with the C38, the Italian managed to put it in Q3 at the Red Bull Ring.

His next step was to do the same in the Grand Prix. Giovinazzi later admitted his race pace had been a weakness up to this point in the season, and that he studied the data during the season to see how he could do better – it all paid dividends in Styria.

Although losing a place at the start, the Alfa man drove solidly to claim his first point in F1 in 10th, with team-mate Räikkönen finishing ninth to make it a double points finish for the team.

2019 Italian GP

Alfa-Romeo-driver-Antonio-Giovinazzi-at-the-2019-Italian-GP

Home points at Monza ’19

Sauber

It doesn’t get much better for an Italian than scoring points in Monza, and Giovinazzi managed to do just that later during his debut season.

Missing out on Q3 by 0.002sec to his team-mate Räikkönen, Giovinazzi immediately converted his 11th place starting position into 10th at the start of the Italian Grand Prix as others fumbled the first chicane.

This became ninth when the McLaren of Carlos Sainz shoved off Alex Albon’s Red Bull at the first Lesmo, before Sebastian Vettel and Lance Stroll came together, promoting Giovinazzi to seventh.

Faster cars would later push him down the order on strategy, but Giovinazzi’s safe pair of hands brought the car home ninth in front of his home crowd.

2019 Brazilian GP

Antonio-Giovinazzi-driving-at-the-2019-Brazilian-GP-for-Alfa-Romeo

Räikkönen and Giovinazzi secured an impressive fourth and fifth respectively in Brazil ’19

Sauber

Although Giovinazzi might have qualified just 13th for the penultimate race of 2019, the Italian was just over a tenth off getting into Q3 – the Alfa Romeo pace was clearly there.

Come lights out on Sunday, Giovinazzi got a great start off the line, rising to 10th by the end of the first lap.

As Gio kept his cool, others fell by the wayside: Daniel Ricciardo clashed with Kevin Magnussen, Valtteri Bottas’s Mercedes engine let go.

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