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Giovinazzi expecting a tough start at Sauber

  • Published on 22 Dec 2018 12:17
  • comments 8
  • By: Fergal Walsh

Antonio Giovinazzi admits that he is not expecting an easy start to the 2019 season at Sauber. The Italian secured a full-time seat at the Hinwil squad in September, replacing Marcus Ericsson, having already raced for it at the opening two races in 2017.

However, Giovinazzi previously admitted that he doesn't believe his race starts at Australia and China will aid him two years on. He will partner Kimi Raikkonen, after Charles Leclerc, Giovinazzi's fellow Ferrari junior, gained promotion to the Scuderia outfit.

Leclerc enjoyed a successful rookie campaign, but Giovinazzi is wary of setting out to emulate the Monegasque racer: "To be honest I didn’t speak much with him about this jump,” Giovinazzi said. I want to think about myself and don’t repeat maybe the result of what Charles did this year or [to try and] improve his result.

“So my target is just to do the best from my side and see. I will also have a different team-mate from Charles, so everything will look different. I hope the car will be faster from race one and we can start to push already from Melbourne.

Raikkonen returns to Sauber after spending five years at Ferrari. Although he was consistently out-performed by Fernando Alonso and Sebastian Vettel during his latest stint at the team, Giovinazzi says that he will face a huge challenge from the 2007 champion.

“It will be quite tough for the first races, because beside me is a world champion with a lot of years in F1. From my side I need to do just my job and improve myself race by race and then we’ll see at the end of the year if we did a good job or not.”

Sauber had an impressive 2018 season, successfully developing the car to score points on regular occasions. After spending two years at the back of the grid, Giovinazzi sees no reason why the resurgence can't continue.

“I think they showed [they were] the best team from race one to the last race, were fighting for second last position to last position in Melbourne and [finished] P8 on the constructors’ championship,” he said. “They are doing a fantastic job, Charles and Marcus [Ericsson] did fantastic.

"I see a lot of high motivation on the team from mechanics and engineers for next year as well," the 25-year-old added. "So this is looking good for me for next year, so we will try and improve also the result again. The target for sure is to be best of the rest but it’s a really high target.”

Replies (8)

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  • I think Sauber will be in the mix right off the bat in 2019. The kinda form they showed last season dont usually go away.

    • + 0
    • Dec 22 2018 - 17:47
  • A Kimi with lesser pressure, and being a team with one of the most reputed development driver, should put Sauber at the forefront of the midfield next year. Watch out Haas, and Renault.

    • + 0
    • Dec 23 2018 - 01:28
  • It will be nice for Raikkonen to beat his teammate for the first time since 2007. I don't think Giovonazzi is top talent, not even on the level of Ocon.

    • + 0
    • Dec 23 2018 - 02:06
    • Kean

      Posts: 641

      He didn't impress in his first two outings with Sauber. But he battled Gasly really hard i GP2, and he was impressive in F3. I have hopes Giovinazzi shows us he's got skills on Gasly's level, and even if I don't really hold Gasly in high regard in the media-game surrounding F1, I still think he's a talent on the track. Reminds me of Hulkenberg in that regard, but Hulkenberg is better on track.

      • + 0
      • Dec 23 2018 - 18:44
    • I hope he's good too. I mean the more top talent, the better the racing.
      So on Hulkenberg... What's this thing about his perception from media appearances, I've never thought of him as boastful or anything like that. But I have seen a few people here make that comment. I'm just not sure if it's just Magnussen fans salty about the suck my balls incident

      • + 0
      • Dec 24 2018 - 02:19
    • Its not just KMag fans sadly. We two have somewhat similar opinions on KMag if memory serves me AJPP, and I respect Hulk as a driver, but its another case of a good driver I cant like. AFAIC, he comes off as a proper prick about 50% of the interviews he is in. And thats me being generous.

      • + 0
      • Dec 24 2018 - 06:51
    • Kean

      Posts: 641

      Regarding Hulkenberg. For me it's a resentment that has accumulated over the years, I was a huge fan his rookie year at Williams, and loved Force India for rescuing him when Williams dropped him because he didn't have proper backing. But the more I've saw of him in interviews, the more my dislike grew. It's not really one thing really. I've mentioned it before, in one of his latest interviews with Swedish media he was a bit douchey throughout, and suddenly just cut the interview short. For no reason really. However, all this doesn't change my opinion of him as a driver, he is a proper talent. Regarding Kevin, I'm certainly no fan of him either, on or off track.

      • + 0
      • Dec 25 2018 - 10:51
  • Freguz

    Posts: 159

    I think Sauber will struggle, Kimi will be frustrated not driving a Ferrari, and Gio has a learning curve.

    • + 0
    • Dec 24 2018 - 09:25

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