Ex-F1 Boss Backs Giovinazzi to Beat Raikkonen

Published 01/30/2019, 10:06 AM EST


F1 veteran Kimi Raikkonen will need to race hard to beat his young rookie teammate in 2019.

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That is the view of Giancarlo Minardi, a former F1 team owner and boss.

Minardi, 71, hailed fellow Italian Antonio Giovinazzi, ahead of the 25-year-old’s first full season in F1.

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“It is a very important signal for the whole of Italian motor sport, for young drivers, and also for the future of the Italian grand prix,” he told minardi.it.

Minardi tipped Giovinazzi, who like Charles Leclerc is a product of Ferrari’s development ‘academy’, to give 2007 world champion Raikkonen a run for his money at Sauber in 2019.

“The Finn will have to look over his shoulder carefully because I am sure he (Giovinazzi) will be able to put him in trouble,” he said.

Following a much-improved 2018 campaign, Sauber are chasing best of the rest this season, however, Antonio Giovinazzi admits it is a “really high target”.

Antonio Giovinazzi

Last year Sauber recovered to eighth in the championship.

While that may not seem like much, the team went from scoring five points in 2017 to 48 points a year later.

Added to that they had the fourth fastest car on the grid in the final few races with five top-ten places in the final three qualifying sessions of the year.

Sauber are hoping to pick up where they left off when the new season starts in Melbourne despite fielding an all-new line-up in Giovinazzi and Kimi Raikkonen.

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The Italian, though, admits it won’t be easy.

He told RaceFans.net: “I think it will be a really high target for Sauber to be the fourth team.

“Renault is really strong, will be really strong next year also with their drivers. So we don’t know yet. Next year will be a different car. We’ll see. The target for sure is to be the best of the rest but it’s a really high target. We will try.”

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Kimi Raikkonen

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Dhruv George

11308 articles

Dhruv George is a senior Formula One and NASCAR analyst for EssentiallySports, having authored nearly 12000 articles spanning different sports like F1, NASCAR, Tennis, NFL, and eSports. He graduated with a PG Diploma in Journalism from the Xavier Institute of Communications. Dhruv has also conducted interviews with F1 driver Pierre Gasly and Moto2 rider Tony Arbolino.

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