Antonio Giovinazzi claims that he is now better prepared for Formula 1 than he was twelve months ago. The Italian driver will race full-time in F1 next year, having signed a deal with Sauber to partner veteran Kimi Raikkonen in 2019.
Giovinazzi made his F1 debut in Australia last season stepping in at Sauber for an injured Pascal Wehrlein. While leaving a strong statement after his first race, the Ferrari junior had a tough time in China one race later, crashing out in both qualifying and the race.
"It was two long years, a lot of simulator, a lot of relationship with Ferrari engineers,” he said. “It was two really important years for me where I learned so much also from the meetings with Sebastian [Vettel] and Kimi I learned so much. So I can say I’m a lot more ready than when I jumped in the car at the beginning of 2017.”
Giovinazzi had been patiently waiting to see if he would get a seat in F1 next year, admitting that the time spent wondering what his next move would be was uncomfortable.
“It was for sure not an easy [time] but for me the thing that’s really powerful is that I never give up on this dream. I always felt I could have my chance. And then you know, it happened, so it was really good for myself to never give up and to see this promotion for next year.
“My target since I started my career in karting was to become an F1 driver. I was really close. Ferrari gave me the opportunity to be the third driver of Ferrari. And then of course this was my target to have my opportunity in F1 and I always dreamed to become an F1 driver so I always worked for an F1 seat.”
Bahrain International Circuit - Winter testing