Giovinazzi targeting top 10 consistency for 2020
Antonio Giovinazzi’s first full F1 season saw him finish P17 in the drivers’ standings, after scoring less than a third of the points of his Alfa Romeo team mate Kimi Raikkonen. And with the 2020 season looming, the Italian said he was aiming to find his way into the top 10 more consistently in his sophomore F1 year.
Giovinazzi went without a point for the first eight races of 2019, with his 10th-place finish at round nine in Austria famously costing him a lock of hair, after he’d promised that Alfa Romeo Team Principal Fred Vasseur could cut it when he took his first career points.
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Ultimately, however, Giovinazzi would score on just a further three occasions in 2019, claiming 14 points as veteran Raikkonen – who scored nine times – took 43. And Giovinazzi was looking to redress the balance between himself and his team mate in 2020.
“One [goal] for next year is to be in the top 10 more consistently,” said the Italian at the 2019 season-closer in Abu Dhabi.
“Take maybe one, two points every race, and that will make the difference for the end of the season. Next year, I will be more ready. I know already everything from one season, so I need to just be more consistent and get more points.
“When you start also [higher up the grid] it’s much easier to stay there, and I think this is [also] where we need to focus, on Saturdays,” he added. “Starting [higher up] on Sunday can be the key, and we need to do it.”
Giovinazzi missed out on one of his best results of the year when he crashed out of what would have been an eighth-place finish in the Belgian Grand Prix on the penultimate lap of the race. Better was to come in Brazil, however, with the Italian securing a career-best fifth place, and with it 10 of the 14 points he scored during the season. And understandably, it was the race at Interlagos that Giovinazzi picked out as one of his highlights of 2019.
“It was one of the best results for me and for the team as well, so [I was] really happy with this,” he said. “The motivation at the end of the season is going always quite down. Everyone is quite tired – but with this great result I saw all the people, the mechanics, their motivation again [got] higher.”
For 2020, meanwhile, Giovinazzi will be able to benefit from the experience of not one but two F1 stalwarts in the Alfa Romeo camp, with his team recently confirming that Robert Kubica had been signed as a reserve driver for the season.