Frederic Vasseur has insisted that Antonio Giovinazzi’s exit will not affect the team’s relationship with Ferrari.
Giovinazzi will depart Alfa Romeo at the end of the season, with news of the exit taking an ugly turn. Alfa Romeo will have to deal with repercussions from multiple fronts, and one of them will be from Ferrari themselves.
Ferrari is the engine sponsor for their fellow Italian team. In fact, Giovinazzi came from the Ferrari academy. With his departure, the streak of Alfa Romeo having a Ferrari-backed driver in the ranks since 2017 will come to an end.
The team will have Valtteri Bottas and Guanyu Zhou as their drivers for next season. They will replace Giovinazzi and retiring driver Kimi Raikkonen. Even though there is no Prancing Horse connection, Vasseur insisted that Giovinazzi’s exit will not affect their relationship with Ferrari.
“When we built up the relationship it was a clear situation, we had Charles (Leclerc) who was already doing some FP1 (Friday free practice sessions) and then Antonio was in the pipeline,” he said, as quoted by grandprix247.com.
“But to block one seat for an academy, it doesn’t matter which, is a bit unrealistic because an academy can’t have a good driver each year. It would even make no sense for them at the end.”
Open to work
Vasseur assured that Alfa Romeo’s doors would always be open to a Ferrari collaboration with respect to younger drivers.
“We are very keen to develop this side of the partnership but it’s not an obligation at all,” he concluded.
Giovinazzi, meanwhile, will depart F1 leaving behind a solid list of memories. He started 59 races for Alfa Romeo. His best result came in Brazil at the 2019 Brazilian GP, where he took a great P5 finish.