For the 2020 Formula One season, Alfa Romeo will be fielding an unchanged line-up of Kimi Raikkonen and Antonio Giovinazzi. However, Alfa Romeo team boss Frederic Vasseur revealed that Giovinazzi was close to losing his F1 seat for the following season. His late Belgian Grand Prix crash was the catalyst to entertain thoughts of sacking the Italian driver.
At the time. Antonio Giovinazzi was running in ninth place on the final lap of the Belgian GP, but lost control at Pouhon and clattered the barriers. To make matters worse for Alfa, Kimi Raikkonen was well down in 16th and capped off a miserable and point-less weekend.
The veteran Finn redeemed himself with 31 points on the board, in the buildup to the Belgian GP. With Giovinazzi only scoring one 1 up until then, Vasseur confessed that the ax almost fell. Luckily, Giovinazzi sought redemption with a strong weekend in Italy, and Vasseur scarcely expected Giovinazzi to shine at his and Alfa Romeo’s home turf.
Speaking to Motorsport.com, he said, “It [the crash] was a big shock for everybody in the team because it was a good opportunity [to score points]. Antonio came back from nowhere and on one of the last laps he had the crash.”
How did Antonio Giovinazzi Stay in F1?
He divulged that the key to Antonio Giovinazzi remaining n F1 was how he would turn himself around in Monza. Needless to say, Giovinazzi delivered spectacularly and outscore Raikkonen in the final eight races – 13 points to 12. Though in fairness, Vasseur suspected that Giovinazzi’s resurgence would have been unnoticed as the team’s performance dropped towards the end of the year.
He concluded, “The issue for Antonio was that we were down on performance when he was on top. You can be in front of your team-mates but [it is noticed less] if it’s for P14 or P15. If it’s sixth or seventh, everyone’s speaking about you.”