Giovinazzi 'proud' to have Raikkonen benchmark at Alfa Romeo

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Antonio Giovinazzi is "proud" to have "one of the best" in Kimi Raikkonen as his benchmark at Alfa Romeo.

The Italian will enter his third full season in Formula 1 this year and so far it has been a case of gradual progression against the Finn.

Last year, Giovinazzi managed to beat Raikkonen 9-8 in qualifying across the year, while both drivers managed just four points each in a disappointing campaign.

“Overall I’m really happy with the progress that I did during the season and especially compared to last season [2019],” he told last year.

“Of course I’m still young and I need to improve a lot more. Next season I want to do another step and hopefully, I can have a better car to fight more in front and have great results.”

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For some though Giovinazzi should consider himself lucky to still be at Alfa with Ferrari having three strong junior drivers in F2 last year, and only Mick Schumacher making the F1 jump with Haas.

“I’ve always had pressure in my career,” he explained. “Nothing was easy for myself, I’ve always had to fight and everything and it’s like this.

“For most of the drivers, it’s like that. You need to drive also with the pressure, that is part of the game here in Formula 1 and I’ve always said it’s an added motivation for fighting for the seat for the next season so I will also do that next year.”

One reason why Giovinazzi believes he was able to retain his seat for 2021, however, was his performance and partnership with Raikkonen.

“Now it’s been a few years with him and I’ve always had a good relationship with him,” he claimed. 


“I’m really happy with this and I think also for the team, it’s really important to have two drivers who have a good relationship and work well together. 

“I have learnt a lot of things from him, especially in the race because in the race Kimi is one of the best at managing the tyres, and managing the race in general. So I learn a lot of things from him and I’m really happy also to continue next season with him because I think I can still learn something from him. 

“In terms of performance, you need to look always at your teammate because in the end, he’s driving your car in the same team and the first driver that you want to beat is him,” he added. 

“So I’m happy to be his teammate because I think he is still one of the best on the grid, he’s a world champion driver with a lot of experience. So for me to be in front of him, to be fighting with him, it’s something important for my career and also for the people who watch F1. I’m really proud of this.”