Antonio Giovinazzi, GP2, Monza, 2016

Giovinazzi lands Ferrari third driver role

2017 F1 seasonPosted on Author Keith Collantine

Antonio Giovinazzi has been appointed as Ferrari’s third driver for the 2017 F1 season, the team has announced.

The 23-year-old finished second in his first season of GP2 this year. His Prema team mate Pierre Gasly, who is part of Red Bull’s junior team, beat him to the title at the final round in Abu Dhabi by eight points.

Giovinazi previously raced in European Formula Three, finishing runner-up to Felix Rosenqvist in the series in 2015. Ferrari evaluated Giovinazzi in their simulator in September.

The Ferrari Driver Academy also includes GP3 champion Charles Leclerc and Antonio Fuoco, who will drive for Prema in GP2 next year, plus Guiliano Alesi and Guan Yu Zhou.

The academy previously included another Italian GP2 racer, Raffaele Marciello, who was dropped from the programme at the beginning of this year.

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28 comments on “Giovinazzi lands Ferrari third driver role”

  1. That’s good, but hopefully they’ll go one better and give Sauber a discount on engines in exchange for a seat. An Italian driver with Giovinazzi’s talent deserves serious support. They’re not short of money, so why not?

    1. @montreal95 Lets wait and see.. if Manor have been bought by Jagonya Ayam, maybe a line up of Giovinazzi-Haryanto, with Gelael as third driver?

      1. wasn’t it a Mexican-american buyer for manor? that wanted Gutierriez?

        1. @marussi Apparently that was the case initially, but then there was a change in negotiations, other parties got involved and Hellmund is no longer in the hunt. Or so they say, it’s hard to keep up.

      2. @fastiesty Yeah, forgot about Jagonya Ayam & Manor connection. Well I don’t care about where AG ends up, anyway, as long as he’s on the grid :)

  2. Good. Let’s get him in an F1 car sooner rather than later. And yes, I would love to see what @montreal95 proposes a lot.

  3. Great to se that he is still around! hoping for a 2017 seat for him!

  4. His rise is really surprising. Never much of a star in F3, good but not great. His achievements this year were stellar but how much was down to the car? I’ll reserve judgement for now.

    1. Down to the car?? GP2 is a spec car series, with the same chassis, engine, and tire used by all teams… The whole point of GP2 as conceived is to make it a true proving ground of DRIVER ability, not the car’s…

      1. @jeangirard That’s why Prema won the constructor’s championship with 430 points with the second team only scoring 258 points? Mercedes had a similar % difference over Red Bull this year.

        1. The cars in GP2 are demonstrably closer in performance than the Red Bull and Merc F1 cars. Perhaps the difference comes from…. wait for it…. THE DRIVERS. In a spec series, a dominant driver can and will account for a wide point differential, which just reinforces why Ferrari made their choice.

          1. @jeangirard How do you explain Gasly struggling for a year and a half before suddenly winning everything his year?

      2. @jeangirard True in theory, However even within the restrictions imposed on spec categories such as GP2 teams still have enough leeway in what they can change to find significant advantages.

        Thats why you have teams like Prema & ART that have been dominant in the junior categories for many years now. They have the biggest budgets so can spend money on the best engineer’s & the best engineering departments which allows them to find tricks in things like car setups that can prove to be huge advantages.

        1. No question that budget makes a difference. Nobody can dispute that. But budget is not “the car.” And, just so we’re clear, engineers, engineering departments, strategists, data, and car setup, are NOT “the car.” I’d also point out that larger budgets mean you can also afford BETTER DRIVERS. It’s a spec series. The cars are the same. Everything else might be different, but the cars are not different enough in and of themselves to account for wide point differences. Therefore, it’s logical that the driver is, in fact, a large part of that equation.

          1. It’s incredibly naive to not think there isn’t an absolutely massive difference in the quality of the car between two teams in GP2. The difference in seconds between first and last is roughly similar to F1, and you’re not telling me that the gaps in talent in F1 are roughly similar to GP2? Because there are some really terrible drivers in GP2.

    2. He came 2nd in F3 in 2015, only behind Rosenqvist, so it’s not too surprising. Sure, being in a better team with better data would’ve helped, but they are the same spec cars, so if he wasn’t that good it would’ve been shown.

      1. He came second in an average field in his *THIRD* year of F3. That’s nothing to write home about.

    3. @hahostolze If he’s not a star, who’s Gasly?

      1. not sure what you mean by ‘who’s Gasly’, but if the question was ‘what’s Gasly?’, then the answer, as demonstrated by STR for next season, is: not a star, either.

  5. Great another so-called reserve driver, ready to be overlooked when the actual need is there!
    I hope I am wrong, but when was the last time a Ferrari was driven by a former Ferrari driver academy member?

    1. the ferrari academy did put bianchi in Marussia and would most likely driven a ferrari by this point

      1. @marussi, I believe that Bianchi did technically participate in test sessions for Ferrari in 2014. We don’t know for certain that he would have been at Ferrari by now, but Montezemolo has indicated that Bianchi would have at least been moved up to Sauber, and that Sauber would have received more support from Ferrari as a result.

        With regards to drivers in their junior programme driving a car, Leclerc was given the opportunity to drive in a few practise sessions for Haas in the middle of the year – it looks like Ferrari thought it would be better if he and Fuoco were given a chance to hone their skills in GP2 first though.

  6. What a great news! By far the most exciting driver in GP2 this year, a true revelation. Quite shadowed Gasly’s season (who already had some bad luck) and almost got a GP2 crown in his maiden year. Still some ironing to do here and there and confidence to gain. I hope he will make a second season in GP2 and win it.

  7. Well, doesn’t third driver means “the guy who follows us around but isn’t allowed to drive if a race driver can’t” these days?

    1. At least it’s going to someone based on talent instead of based on money (Gutierrez).

      What does this mean for Vergne?

      1. @paeschli I imagine he is out and can focus on Formula E, who knows. But Giovinazzi will go into the simulator now and prepare for an in-season testing run out (probably around mid-season, like Gutierrez did last year).

    2. Ferrari reserve drivers tend to get more mileage than most others as Ferrari use there Corse Clienti division to do a lot of demo runs & track days with older cars.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HEBQsdh2Umc
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w7BR0gwt46E
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Md-e4c3PSvI

  8. LovelyLovelyLuffield
    21st December 2016, 3:53

    There you go. Kimi’s replacement.

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