Giovinazzi’s Father Explains Why He Shunned Mercedes’ Advances to Sign With Ferrari

Published 06/11/2021, 9:25 AM EDT
Formula One F1 – Azerbaijan Grand Prix – Baku City Circuit, Baku, Azerbaijan – Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc after qualifying in pole position Pool via REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov


Antonio Giovinazzi’s father Vito revealed that they previously held talks with Mercedes principal Toto Wolff but rejected to become Silver Arrow’s third driver because of his love for Ferrari.

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Alfa Romeo’s driver Antonio Giovinazzi made his F1 debut in 2017. The Italian replaced injured Sauber driver Pascal Wehrlein at Australian Grand Prix. Giovinazzi finished the race at P12 on his debut which captured the attention of Mercedes team Principal Toto Wolff, who congratulated him after the race.

Although this was not the first time when the Austrian has appreciated Antonio Giovinazzi’s talent. Previously the Toto Wolff has also offered the Italian a third driver role at Silver Arrows, as well as a DTM drive.

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What did Antonio Giovinazzi’s father say about Ferrari?

Vito Giovinazzi in an interview with La Gazzetta dello Sport admits that they turned down an offer from Mercedes because of Antonio’s ‘Red Heart’.

“He joined Ferrari at the end of 2016 after having negotiated with Sergio Marchionne. At the start of the World Championship in Melbourne in 2017, Maurizio Arrivabene told him that he would be on the track with Sauber as a replacement for Pascal Wehrlein,” said Vito Giovanazzi (Quotes translated from Italian via Google Translate).

BAHRAIN, BAHRAIN: Antonio Giovinazzi of Italy driving the (99) Alfa Romeo Racing C39 Ferrari on track during practice ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Sakhir at Bahrain International Circuit in Bahrain, Bahrain. (Photo by Giuseppe Cacace – Pool/Getty Images)

He added, “In Australia, my son finished 12th and it was a great result, so much so that even Toto Wolff complimented us. Before signing with Ferrari, Toto himself called us to offer us a contract with his Mercedes: Antonio should have been the third driver in Stuttgart in the Circus and the official one in the Dtm. But he has a “red” heart and he made the choice he felt.”

Antonio Giovinazzi to replace Kimi Raikkonen as a team leader

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A few days earlier Alfa Romeo team principal Frederic Vasseur admits Antonio is now mature and shall no longer take Raikkonen as an example for his growth and can take over from Kimi as team leader.

Antonio Giovinazzi’s father agrees with Alfa Romeo’s team principal and said: “I agree with him. The comparison now for Antonio is with himself, being a ready rider. Indeed, I say more: for me, he is still at 80% of his potential. He can still grow a lot and in the meantime, he wants to overtake Kimi in the drivers’ standings this year.”

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Can we witness Antonio Giovinazzi driving for Scuderia Ferrari anytime soon? What do you think? Let us know in the comments section below.

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Pingaksh Sharma

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