Alfa Romeo Formula 1 boss Frédéric Vasseur called on Antonio Giovinazzi to become more team leader in the Italian’s third full season with the Swiss team.
After a difficult first season in 2019, two years after a two-race cameo for the team then known as Sauber replacing injured Pascal Wehrlein, Ferrari-backed Giovinazzi has shown marked improvement in the 2020 season. during which he overqualified his teammate Kimi. Raikkonen by nine to eight.
The 27-year-old also tied Raikkonen’s points total with four apiece, with Alfa’s drop in competitiveness earning only eighth in the 2020 Constructors’ Championship, but Ferrari felt he had done enough to earn one another season and placed Formula 2 champion Mick Schumacher at Haas. for his rookie campaign instead.
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As it is far from certain that Raikkonen, 41, will stay in F1 when his one-year contract extension ends at the end of the season, Vasseur called on Giovinazzi to stand up and “take the lead on his own shoulders “.
“I think the next step is to get more consistency in the race,” Vasseur told TBEN.
“But he’s been taking a good step for a while, improving on every subject.
“You also probably have to keep the head of the team on your own shoulders a bit, in order to be able to make certain decisions.
“But we’re on these paths and he’s improving race after race. And I’m pretty confident that . “
Vasseur is also impressed with the gains the Italian has been able to achieve in his second year.
“If you look [at 2019], he scored a third of Kimi’s points and was six times ahead of Kimi in qualifying, ”he explained.
“Now they match each other, they have the same level of points, the same level of performance in qualifying.”
Giovinazzi told TBEN he was “really happy with the job I did” in 2021, which included a special focus on improving his race starts, which helped him gain valuable positions during the race. of the first round of several races.