Hulkenberg on the brink as Giovinazzi stays at Alfa Romeo for 2020

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Another of Nico Hulkenberg's options has closed after Antonio Giovinazzi was announced at Alfa Romeo for 2020 on Monday.

The Swiss team was seen as the last realistic possibility for the German in Formula 1 given his long-time association with team boss Fred Vasseur and with the alternatives coming at Red Bull and Williams.

However, with the seat alongside Kimi Raikkonen usually reserved for a Ferrari junior, that power appears to have been crucial as has Giovinazzi's own recent improved performance.

“I am very happy to be staying with the team for 2020,” the Italian said in a team statement.

“I am grateful for the incredible level of support I received in my first full season in Formula 1. Everyone in the team has stuck by my side since I joined and I am really looking forward to continuing our journey together.

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“We learned a lot this year and I am confident we can make a big step forward next season.

"I won’t be a rookie anymore so there won’t be any excuses for me: I want to be competitive right from the start of the championship and repay the confidence the team has shown in me.”

Vasseur also praised the efforts of Giovinazzi in his first full season of racing since 2016 and is hopeful of seeing a step forward next season.

“Antonio has done really well this year and I am extremely pleased to be able to confirm he will stay with Alfa Romeo Racing for 2020,” the Frenchman commented.

“The way he has integrated into the team and has consistently improved throughout his first full season in the sport are very promising and we cannot wait to unlock his full potential as we continue to work together.

“Antonio has emerged as a very quick driver, even alongside as tough a benchmark as Kimi, and we expect him to develop even further as his experience grows.

"His technical feedback, work ethics and positive approach will help us continue to push our team forward, and so will the consistency of an unchanged line-up for next season.”

Giovinazzi's future beyond 2020 will be dependent on two factors, the first being whether Raikkonen will stay in F1 or retire with his contract expiring.

The other is the progress of Mick Schumacher in F2, with many expecting him to make the jump into the Alfa seat for 2021. 

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