The driver market was incredibly active in the week leading up to the Italian Grand Prix. The majority of the grid looks set for 2022, with six seats announced this week.
Antonio Giovinazzi of Alfa Romeo, on the other hand, is still in doubt over whether he will remain in the sport.
While the Italian has had some solid results in recent races, his biggest challenge right now is Alpine junior Guanyu Zhou. The Chinese driver not only has a strong track record in Formula Two, but he also has considerable financial backing.
Angelo Sticchi Damiani, the president of the Automobile Club d’Italia, recently requested further support for the 27-year-old.
Damiani calls for Italian government backing
Giovinazzi, a Ferrari driving academy graduate, has been impressive since joining Alfa Romeo in 2019. Despite not being in the points much, the Martina Franca-born driver was a reliable performer for the squad.
His recent qualifying efforts in Zandvoort and Monza, in particular, spoke loudly about his ability. However, he was unable to convert those competitive starting positions into points finishes, perhaps jeopardizing his prospects of being retained for the following season.
It was disclosed earlier this week that Zhou’s sponsors would pay 30 million euros to secure his seat for next year. Given the likelihood that Giovinazzi will be unable to match that offer, Damiani feels the Italian government can assist the 27-year-old.
According to Formula Passion, he said, “Antonio is really good. We haven’t been able to give him a chance to show how good he is. I expect there will also be a push from the government in this sense, because governments move from other parts, very heavy suitcases arrive.” (Quotes translated from Google).
While asking for support, Damiani also stated that it is their responsibility to ensure Giovinazzi has a chance to shine.
“It is no longer like once that the best one goes on,” he said.
“The best one goes on, but also the richest ones go on. We have this duty: we have a good rider and we must defend him and give him the opportunity to excel.”
With only eight races remaining, Giovinazzi’s chance to prove his worth to Alfa Romeo is dwindling. Can the Italian keep up his good form and help his team gain more points?