Sauber confirm Giovinazzi to partner Raikkonen in 2019

  • 25 Sep 2018 14:13
  • comments 22
  • By: Fergal Walsh

Sauber has confirmed that it has signed Antonio Giovinazzi to partner Kimi Raikkonen for the 2019 season. The Italian driver takes the place of Marcus Ericsson at the team, who has raced for the Hinwil squad since 2015.

Giovinazzi made his Formula 1 debut at the Australian Grand Prix in 2017, stepping in for an injured Pascal Wehrlein. He impressed over the course of the weekend, but was hit with a tougher outing in China two weeks later, where he crashed in both qualifying and the race.

The 24-year-old had a number of free practice outings with Haas last year, and this season has run the Sauber C37 during FP1 in Germany and Hungary.

"I am delighted to be joining the Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 Team. This is a dream come true, and it is a great pleasure to have the chance to race for this team," Giovinazzi said.

"As an Italian, it is a huge honour for me to represent a brand as iconic and successful as Alfa Romeo in our sport. I would like to thank the Scuderia Ferrari and the Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 Team for giving me this great opportunity. I am very motivated and cannot wait to start working towards achieving great results together.”

Sauber team principal Frederic Vasseur added: “We are very pleased to reveal the complete driver line-up for the 2019 season. We first signed Kimi Räikkönen, an extremely experienced driver who will contribute to the development of our car and will accelerate the progress of our team as a whole.

"Together with Alfa Romeo, we are delighted to welcome Antonio Giovinazzi, who will take the place of Charles Leclerc. We have already had the opportunity to work with him in the past and he has proven to have great potential. We are very determined and motivated. Our target is to continue progressing and fighting together for positions that count.”

Giovinazzi hasn't held a full-time racing role since he partnered Pierre Gasly at Prema during the 2016 GP2 season, where he finished as runner up.

Replies (22)

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  • Freguz

    Posts: 159

    Crap :-(

    • + 0
    • Sep 25 2018 - 14:21
    • Well, in all fairness Marcus was one of the last drivers on the grid that didn't deserve his seat. He really should have lost it years ago. He look dreadful next to Felipe Nasr in 2015, 2016 and yet Nasr is the one that lost his drive eventually. Wherlein also obliterated him on stats, just not as pointedly (although it was 5pts to 0). It was also Wherlein who lost his drive. If anything, I think that Ericsson is potentially one of the worst case of a pay driver who doesn't perform and get picked over other very talented drivers. I'm still mad about Nasr losing his seat in spite of that heroic performance in Brazil get the only points for Sauber that year.

      • + 1
      • Sep 25 2018 - 17:55
    • Savio

      Posts: 134

      Sorry but Ericsson was one of the biggest paydrivers in F1 history, totally out performed by every teammate. Anyway i have short story for better mood for you my friends from Sweden..

      It was few days after Singapore GP.
      The sky was dark and cloudy,
      The moon was high.
      It could be about 10 p.m. o'colck...
      but I don't remember exectly.
      I was with my wife and children,
      we returned home after long journey..
      Beeing in departure hall and waiting for the flight home,
      i saw a familiar person sittin alone in the corner...
      It was my friend Marcus !
      Man.. he looks bad :/ so i decided to approach him.
      I asked politely: Marcus what wrong with you ??
      He said with sad eyes: They want to throw me out, cuz they say I'm not fast enough..
      I wanted to cheer him up, so i said: Listen Marcus not all have the skills to drive in f1.. like Kubica..
      They also get rid of Maldonado and he was able to accept it.
      Marcus: But I paid them, I paid them for all the seasons..
      I paid them for all the cars i f*cking crashed, what they still want from me !?
      I said: You know Marcus, there are things in this world that you cannot
      buy with your money..
      Marcus: What do you mean ?!
      I said: Money isn't evrything, my friend...
      He's face just freeze and filled with anger.
      He just started throwing shit at me:
      You're wrong..
      You're F*UCKING WRONG !!
      Leave me alone !
      for fuck's sake !

      I was confused :/
      i decided to leave him.

      based on the novel:
      "The Curious Case of Marcus Ericsson"

      • + 0
      • Sep 25 2018 - 18:31
    • Kean

      Posts: 474

      @AJ, I wouldn't say that Ericsson looked dreadful next to Nasr, the first half of the 2015 season Nasr outperformed him and that was when the car was good enough for points, but Ericsson turned it around in 2015 eventually outqualifying Nasr 10-9. In 2016 Ericsson outqualified Nasr 13-8, sure Nasr scored 2 points but that was due to alot of DNF's. Also Ericsson was very closely matched to Wehrlein, they were the two closest teammates on the grid with an average time diff in quali at 0,049 sec, add to that the fact that Ericsson had a weight disadvantage of 4-10kg depending on race then that stat really shows that Ericsson had likely been faster if they were the same weight. Again Ericsson failed to score and Wehrlein did, but one time it was because Ericsson gave up his position and the other it was because of alot of DNF's, i.e. Wehrlein did not score on his own merit. This year I would say is the first year Ericsson is really outperformed, and that is by a guy who gets a Ferrari seat after only one year in the sport which is practically unheard of.

      • + 0
      • Sep 25 2018 - 20:37
    • @Kean The qualy stats are interesting for discussion, but in the end points are scored on Sunday. Vandoorne is also pretty close to Alonso timewise... The weight excuse I don't accept. Nico Hulkenberg has done alright in an underpowered Renault. Every driver can have a bad season, but Ericsson has never put performed a teammate. He has never scored more than 50% of total points. There are no memorable moments, overtakes, races. Even Maldonado had some pretty good highlights. I mean no disrespect to the Swedish people, but Ericsson represented everything wrong with pay drivers in F1. It took a cash infusion from Ferrari to boot him out.

      • + 0
      • Sep 26 2018 - 04:13
    • Kean

      Posts: 474

      Yes, points are scored on Sunday. However for any bottom team, that perhaps will score points in 10-20% of the races and those points will come not on the teams own merit but due to other teams dnf’s, luck with safetycars or rain, you have to start looking at more than points when assessing drivers. You have to start looking at quali results, inter team battles, time differences and other things such as the drivers ability to help develop the car. Wehrlein wouldn’t have scored in Spain had he not gotten lucky with the safety car. So if you’re only looking at points scored regarding bottom teams you’re basically assessing drivers by luck. In 2016 Ericsson outperformed Nasr over the season, except in the race where outer circumstances allowed them to be high enough to score points. The top 4-5 teams, however, there you can rely on points more accurately when assessing drivers since they should be able to score in every race. And of course weight is a factor when assessing a drivers ability, Hulkenberg manages good quali results in spite of his weight disadvantage, it only speaks to his quality. If you’re assessing drivers, knowing that minimum weight will be raised next year, then of course you will take weight into account. Also, everybody knocks pay drivers, but had it not been for Ericsson’s backers there would be no Sauber team. Had it not been for Stroll or Maldonado or Sirotkin there would be no Willams team. If you want to see a grid with drivers picked solely on talent, then complain about the distribution of revenue instead of pay drivers.

      • + 0
      • Sep 26 2018 - 11:54
  • blade

    Posts: 341

    So where' Ericsson off to then? Quite a few quality racers without a drive in 2019 me thinks. Here's a radical one for you all - max age cap on drivers? How many racers are still at their best at age 35? This way it makes room for new names and new stars, got to do something like this as some of these drivers will hang on to seats, even if performing averagely because lets face - where do you go after F1?

    • + 0
    • Sep 25 2018 - 14:38
    • Marcus will be their third driver

      • + 0
      • Sep 25 2018 - 15:03
    • PeterTurtle

      Posts: 1

      I'd much rather have a Kimi than a Lance

      • + 1
      • Sep 25 2018 - 15:19
    • f1dave

      Posts: 593

      Kids in cars.

      • + 0
      • Sep 25 2018 - 15:45
    • I agree that there are quality drivers without a seat next year, but I don t rate Ericsson as one of them...

      • + 0
      • Sep 25 2018 - 16:02
    • mcbhargav

      Posts: 886

      Kimi is a better racer than 1. Stroll 2. Ericsson 3. Sirotkin 4. Hartley 5. Vandoorne. Might even dare say, he is as good if not better than Hulk, Perez, KMag, Romain, Ocon, Gasly. So, how about leaving the hiring to the teams, who might( or should) know better.

      • + 1
      • Sep 25 2018 - 16:38
    • RogerF1

      Posts: 367

      - where do you go after F1? Simple, Formula E

      • + 1
      • Sep 26 2018 - 00:27
  • Kean

    Posts: 474

    I guess technically Ericsson got the boot in favor of Räikkönen, because Giovinazzi replaces Leclerc. But I'm unsure of Giovinazzi. Not that impressed by his two races last year, sure he battled Gasly in GP2, but Palmer and Vandoorne won GP2 and didn't fare so well in F1. Also, Steiner wasn't impressed by what Giovinazzi brought to the table when testing for Haas. I'm biased I guess, but I think Ericsson would have been a better choice than Giovinazzi.

    • + 0
    • Sep 25 2018 - 16:32
  • Xtreme

    Posts: 14

    No one could impress with a 2017 Sauber. Even Wehrlein could not impress anyone. So I like it that Gio get his change. Nice season ahead.

    • + 0
    • Sep 25 2018 - 17:21
  • Not completely unexpected, but I wasnt sure if it'd happen. Ericsson seem like a nice fella, but he has had his chance, and he hasnt really delivered. Ocon woulda been a better switch IMO, but Gio deserve a proper shot.

    • + 0
    • Sep 25 2018 - 17:45
  • mcbhargav

    Posts: 886

    This is one hell of a silly season so far. Loving it more than the racing itself.

    • + 0
    • Sep 25 2018 - 22:30
    • Oh yes. This is juicy stuff!

      • + 0
      • Sep 25 2018 - 23:10
  • boudy

    Posts: 1,067

    Gio looked like an solid driver in F3. Crashing his car twice in one weekend didn't help his career. Glad he's doing an full season to see how good he is in F1.

    • + 0
    • Sep 25 2018 - 23:36
  • Bhurt

    Posts: 320

    Sad from a Swedish perspective as Ericsson's presence really did up the general interest in F1 around here.

    Obviously a no-brainer for Vasseur to jump at the opportunity to bring Kimi into the team. Fair play to them. The Giovinazzi seat is the Ferrari seat so nobody at Sauber had much of a say there I would imagine.

    People may, possibly rightfully, argue whether or not Ericsson is deserving of an F1 seat on merit alone. But I can't see how Giovinazzi is any different in that sense.

    • + 0
    • Sep 26 2018 - 08:23
    • Honestly, aside from media reporting on it more, I didnt really notice it. The few people I know in person that watch it dont really cheer for him. Its a pity that he had to go, but it was time.

      • + 0
      • Sep 26 2018 - 08:36
    • Freguz

      Posts: 159

      It's gonna be really interesting to see next year how Sauber will perform.... Perhaps Marcus has to jump into the car suddenly

      • + 0
      • Sep 26 2018 - 09:06

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