The 23-year old racing driver, Antonio Giovinazzi, has recently said that his move to Scuderia Ferrari as third driver for the 2017 Formula 1 season and his contribution during the Formula 1 tests represent “a small step” for growing Italian representation among drivers in the sport.
Despite the fact that the Italian Grand Prix is one of the most famous and successful races in the calendar, and Ferrari is the legendary trademark of Formula 1, as well as the most successful team in the sport, Italy has not produced many drivers that have started a grand prix in recent times. The last Italians to make a race start in Formula One were Vitantonio Liuzzi and Jarno Trulli, both of them being at the start of the 2011 Brazilian Grand Prix. The Italian national anthem has not been played for a victorious driver since Malaysia 2006 when Giancarlo Fisichella finished on top of the table for Renault.
While there has been a lack of Italians racing in F1 recently, Giovinazzi feels that his recent tests for Ferrari and Sauber – the latter in pre-season testing – should be considered signs of progress on the matter: “I think yeah, we miss Italian drivers. But this is already one small step. Now I am third driver for Ferrari, I’m here in the official F1 tests. It’s a really good starting point for me. Then I just need to work really hard because of course for every driver the target is to drive in Formula 1.” – Antonio Giovinazzi said, as reported by Tuttosport, the Italian sport newspaper published in Turin.
“I am aware of the fact that the situation is really difficult in Italy, but yeah, I will do everything to arrive in my target as soon as possible.” – Antonio Giovinazzi concluded. The Masters of Formula 3 winner from 2015 was announced as Scuderia Ferrari’s new third driver back in December after finishing as runner-up in his debut GP2 campaign in 2017. The 23-year-old has decided not to commit to a racing campaign this season, instead preferring to focus his attention and duties with the Maranello side, as he will have to complete a lot of work in the team’s Formula 1 simulator and help with the development process of the SF70 car.