Antonio Giovinazzi Out however Ferrari Ties Keep Robust, Says Alfa Romeo Boss
Alfa Romeo’s Method One ties to Ferrari will stay shut regardless of the alternative of Italian driver Antonio Giovinazzi with China’s Guanyu Zhou subsequent season, in keeping with group boss Frederic Vasseur.
Ferrari present Alfa’s engines and Giovinazzi got here by way of the Italian group’s academy.
His departure means the Swiss-based group can have no Ferrari-backed driver for the primary time since 2017, when Sweden’s Marcus Ericsson and Germany’s Pascal Wehrlein had been there.
Alfa, the group who had been Sauber earlier than the rebranding, gave a debut to Ferrari protege Charles Leclerc in 2018.
Finland’s Kimi Raikkonen, the 2007 world champion who’s retiring on the finish of this yr, joined from Ferrari in 2019 – a return to the group he began out with in 2001 – in a swap with Leclerc.
Raikkonen is being changed by compatriot Valtteri Bottas from Mercedes, whereas Zhou has come by way of Renault-owned Alpine’s academy.
“After we constructed up the connection it was a transparent scenario, we had Charles who was already doing a little FP1 (Friday free apply periods) after which Antonio was within the pipeline,” mentioned Vasseur.
“However to dam one seat for an academy, it doesn’t matter which, is a bit unrealistic as a result of an academy can’t have driver annually. It could even make no sense for them on the finish,” he added.
Vasseur mentioned there was a basic misunderstanding that the engine provide was linked to the group’s driver alternative however there was no obligation there.
He mentioned he remained “greater than open” to future collaboration with Ferrari on younger drivers and would talk about the matter possible this weekend on the Qatar Grand Prix.
Mick Schumacher, the son of seven occasions champion Michael, is in his rookie season with Ferrari-powered Haas and staying there for 2022.
“We’re very eager to develop this facet of the partnership however it’s not an obligation in any respect,” mentioned Vasseur.
Giovinazzi has spent three seasons at Hinwil and has began 59 races in whole with the group, scoring a greatest results of fifth in Brazil in 2019. His departure leaves Method One with out an Italian driver.
(Modifying by Shrivathsa Sridhar)
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