He’s the Italian steed with speed from the stable of the Prancing Horse. Antonio Giovinazzi flies the flag for Italy as the motorsport mad nation champs at the bit for its next F1 star.
The pilota from Puglia can punch his way through the pack and pull off a plucky pass. He showcased this natural racing acumen during a blistering 2016 GP2 campaign where he finished a close runner-up to team mate Pierre Gasly.
Giovinazzi concedes he went from hero to zero after two races as a stand-in for Sauber in 2017 when a brilliantly composed F1 debut in Melbourne was followed by two shunts in Shanghai. But a stint as Ferrari reserve gave him time to re-group and reflect ahead of his first full season in 2019, paired alongside Kimi Raikkonen at Alfa Romeo.
The notion of a home-grown racer with the iconic Alfa Romeo brand is irresistible to many – and Giovinazzi quickly laid his claim to being the Italian for the job, out-qualifying Raikkonen on several occasions.
Now his challenge is to out-race the Iceman…
Giovinazzi began karting in 2000. In 2006, he became the champion in the Italian National Trophy 60cc and Euro Trophy 60 championships. He was champion of the WSK Master Series in the KF2 class in both 2010 and 2011.
Formula Pilota China
Giovinazzi began his single seater career by competing in Formula Pilota China in 2012. He finished as the overall champion in his debut season with a total of six wins. He also raced for the BVM team in the last round of the 2012 Formula Abarth season at Monza. Despite winning two races and finishing in second place in one, he did not receive any points since he was a guest driver.
Giovinazzi competed in the 2013 British Formula Three Championship season with the Double R Racing team, alongside Sean Gelael and Tatiana Calderón. He won two races, at Silverstone and at Spa-Francorchamps, and ended the season as runner-up behind Jordan King. During the season, Giovinazzi entered the 2013 Masters of Formula 3, finishing the race in 10th place.
In 2013, Giovinazzi made his debut in the FIA Formula 3 European Championship with the Double R Racing team. He scored his first points at the fourth round in Brands Hatch, finishing 11th in the first race. His best result of the season was at the final race in Hockenheim, where he finished 6th. Giovinazzi ended the season in 15th place in the championship with 45 points.
In 2014, Giovinazzi signed with Jagonya Agam with Carlin to compete in the 2014 FIA Formula 3 European Championship season. His first Formula 3 podium came with a 2nd-place finish in Hockenheim. His first win came from pole position at the Red Bull Ring, before adding another win at the following round at the Nürburgring. He ended the season in 6th place in the standings with 238 points, recording two wins, seven podium finishes, two pole positions and three fastest laps.
Giovinazzi continued in the championship with Jagonya Agam with Carlin in 2015, in a field which included future Formula One competitors Charles Leclerc, Lance Stroll, George Russell and Alexander Albon. He was a championship contender for much of the season, eventually losing out to Felix Rosenqvist. Giovinazzi ended the season as the championship runner-up, with 412.5 points. He recorded six wins, twenty podium finishes, four pole positions and four fastest laps. During the 2015 season he made his second appearance at the Masters of Formula 3 race, winning the race after starting from 2nd on the grid.
After the end of his European Formula 3 season, Giovinazzi entered the non-championship 2015 Macau Grand Prix with Carlin, qualifying in 4th place. In the qualifying race, he caused a multi-car pile up on the first lap after colliding with Daniel Juncadella. Giovinazzi went on to win the qualifying race, but was later handed a 20-second penalty for the incident, demoting him to 10th. At the main event, he recovered to finish in 4th place.
Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters
Giovinazzi had impressed Audi Sport Team Phoenix during a DTM test in 2015, before being called up to replace the suspended Timo Scheider for the round at Moscow Raceway during the 2015 DTM season. He finished the races in 19th and 21st.
In 2016, Giovinazzi took part in the Asian Le Mans Series in the LMP2 class alongside Sean Gelael. They entered the final two rounds at Buriram and Sepang, winning both races. Giovinazzi then entered the Silverstone round of the European Le Mans Series alongside Gelael and Mitch Evans for SMP Racing, in which they came 5th.
In the FIA World Endurance Championship, Giovinazzi took part in the 2016 6 Hours of Fuji alongside Gelael and Giedo van der Garde for the Extreme Speed Motorsports team, in which they finished 4th in the LMP2 class. He then took part in the following round in Shanghai alongside Gelael and Tom Blomqvist, finishing 2nd.
He took part at the 2018 24 Hours of Le Mans driving a Ferrari 488 GTE for AF Corse Ferrari factory team alongside Toni Vilander and Pipo Derani. He finished the race 5th in GTE category.
Giovanazzi driving at Silverstone during the 2016 GP2 Season
Giovinazzi joined the series with Prema Powerteam for the 2016 season alongside Red Bull Junior and 2014 Formula Renault 3.5 Series runner-up Pierre Gasly.
After a poor start by finishing outside the points and losing reverse grid pole in the first two rounds, Giovinazzi scored victories in both the feature and sprint races in Baku, becoming the first driver to do ‘the double’ since Davide Valsecchi in 2012.
Giovinazzi took pole position from his teammate Gasly at Spa, and won the Sprint Race after Gasly had won the feature race on Saturday. At Monza, he took pole position, but was disqualified from the session due to a technical infringement. Despite starting from the back of the grid, he won in the Feature Race after a mix up involving the safety car that worked in his favour.
Giovinazzi took the lead of the championship at Sepang by overtaking Sergey Sirotkin late on for his 5th win of the season. However, Pierre Gasly’s victory in the Abu Dhabi feature race meant that Gasly led by 12 points into the final race. Giovinazzi finished the final race ahead of Gasly as Alex Lynn won the race, however, after making a poor start, he was unable to overturn the 12-point gap, and Gasly won the championship by 8 points.
Had Giovinazzi won the championship, he would have been the first rookie champion since Nico Hülkenberg in 2009. He would also have been the last ever GP2 champion as the series would become FIA Formula 2 Championship for 2017.