Antonio Giovinazzi is hoping that his racing break between 2017 and 2019 will be an advantage for him when Formula 1 gets back underway this weekend.
With a lack of on track action for the last three months, a number of drivers have confirmed they are likely to be a bit rusty when the Austrian Grand Prix weekend begins on Friday and some teams have used filming days or old cars in order to get their drivers back up to racing speed.
But, having spent the 2017-2019 seasons on the sidelines as Ferrari’s development driver, and then coming back to the grid last year, Giovinazzi already has experienced this process and hopes it will play into his hands.
“It has been a very sombre few months for everyone, and with my family and so many friends back home in Italy, I was particularly touched by it.” commented the Alfa Romeo driver.
“To go back to racing feels like another step towards some sort of normality.
“I am curious to see how everyone does in Austria and to see what happens with two races in the same venue; it’s a first for Formula One so it will be something we will need to adapt to.
“As for being rusty after so many months away, I am not worried about that: I didn’t race for two years between 2017 and 2019, so, if anything, I will try to turn that into an advantage.”
Formula 1 has only confirmed eight races so far for the season, but is looking to add some additional rounds for later in the year, and hope that the season will comprise of 15-18 rounds.
But while that is the target, the current climate across the world doesn’t mean that will come to fruition, and Giovinazzi’s team-mate, Kimi Raikkonen believes that with so few races in comparison to normal, it is vital Alfa Romeo maximises every weekend.
“It will feel a bit weird to get back to racing in these conditions, but I am sure that once we are in the car we will not focus on the restrictions but just on doing the best job we can.” commented the 2007 Formula 1 world champion.
“With so many races in so little time, we need to make the most of every event and score points every time we get the chance.
“It’s hard to tell where everyone stands, but we will find out soon enough.”