Antonio Giovinazzi became the first Italian since Jarno Trulli to compete in a Formula Once race this weekend, standing in for Pascal Wehrlein for the Sauber F1 Team in Melbourne. The Scuderia Ferrari development and reserve driver was called up to the team with less than 12 hours notice following concerns being raised around Wehrlein’s ability to complete a race distance due to an injury sustained in the off season impacting his training schedule.
Having completed 2 days of pre-season testing for the team, Antonio Giovinazzi, found himself able to push team mate Marcus Ericsson throughout the race weekend, qualifying just on place behind him on the grid. In the race Giovinazzi bought his Sauber C36 home to finish 12th overall, whilst out of the points, team members and those outside the team were keen to praise his performance:
“A very impressive performance from Antonio during his first Formula One race. He showed his potential as well as what the car is capable of. The lap times were quite satisfying”
Monisha Kaltenborn, Team Principal
Ferrari President Sergio Marchionne, in his celebration of his Scuderia’s return to the top step added a note of recognition to Giovinazzi:
“Congratulations to Antonio for his debut in Formula One”
Commenting on his own performance Giovinazzi added:
“It was a good race, and I am happy with my performance today. My objective was to gain more experience and collect mileage in the car. I will sit together with my engineers to analyze areas where I can improve. I want to thank the Sauber F1 Team and Scuderia Ferrari again for this opportunity. It was an amazing race weekend for me.”
See below to hear from the driver himself in this video uploaded by the team following the race:
— Sauber F1 Team (@SauberF1Team) March 26, 2017
New Italian team partner Errea Sport were delighted to see an Italian driver behind the wheel of the Sauber C36- Ferrari, to see a preview of the 2017 team merchandise see below:
The Sauber F1 team expect Pascal Wehrlein to be fully prepared to return to full race duties for the Chinese Grand Prix in 2 weeks time.