Giovinazzi saw Ferrari 'chance' for 2021 after Vettel exit decision

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Antonio Giovinazzi saw a "chance" to join Ferrari for 2021 after Sebastian Vettel's departure was confirmed.

The Alfa Romeo driver hasn't made a significant impact in Formula 1 across his two seasons alongside Kimi Raikkonen, finishing 17th in both years.

Even so, that didn't stop Giovinazzi dreaming of becoming Ferrari's first Italian driver since Giancarlo Fisichella in 2009, right up until Carlos Sainz was announced alongside Charles Leclerc from this season.

“Of course, I did not receive Ferrari’s decision very well. That seems clear to me,” he told Autosprint.

“I am still employed by Ferrari and I thought there would be a chance for me to race for the Scuderia. Maybe it just wasn’t the right time for me.

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“Choosing Sainz does not mean that I will not be able to get that seat in the future. A seat at Ferrari will always be my dream.

“I have never received anything for free in my career. I have always had to work hard to earn a place.”

Giovinazzi might consider himself lucky to have a third season at Alfa in 2021, particularly as F2 champion and Ferrari junior Mick Schumacher was linked to his seat.

“It was more between Antonio and Mick than Kimi and Mick and Ferrari took the decision to keep Antonio," Alfa boss Fred Vasseur explained via GPFans.

"We had a couple of discussions, Antonio deserves it also because he did a good improvement compared to last year.

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“He is still improving, he is now matching Kimi in quailfying and the race pace also. He is doing a great job and okay, the choice was not an easy one between Mick and Antonio but that is the advantage they have between us and Guenther [Steiner] at Haas.

“They put Mick in the Haas and that is fine for me.”

And as for how Giovinazzi is approaching this year, he said: “Right now I am focused on Alfa Romeo.

"I want to help my team move forward as much as possible and that is why I would like to secure a place on the podium.

“To do that, I have to keep improving and seize my opportunities. Let’s see if that works in 2021.”