Giovinazzi or Ilott: Who Deserves to Secure the Ferrari-Associated Alfa Romeo F1 Seat?

Published 08/28/2021, 5:10 AM EDT
Formula One F1 – Austrian Grand Prix – Red Bull Ring, Spielberg, Styria, Austria – July 2, 2021 Alfa Romeo’s Kimi Raikkonen during practice REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger


With F1 heading into the second half of the 2021 season, teams have started to reveal their complete line-ups for the succeeding season; Alpine being the latest addition to the list amidst Fernando Alonso’s contract extension. However, a huge spotlight has been hovering over Alfa Romeo Racing.

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Prior to the summer break, rumors blew up that Valtteri Bottas held talks with the Sauber-led outfit over a potential 2021 seat. And it was well evident that the Finn could be replacing Kimi Raikkonen, who is on the verge of retirement, aged 41.

Hence, Bottas is aiming to become the number 1 driver at Alfa Romeo. But, what about the other seat?

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Antonio Giovinazzi’s contract is heading towards termination by the end of this season, and there have been no signs of Alfa Romeo’s push for extending his stay. The reason is quite clear.

Will Giovinazzi extend his contract with Alfa Romeo?

More drivers are starting to show interest in the seat, and Alfa Romeo are most likely considering every available option before making a final decision. One of the prime names being Callum Ilott. So, let’s take a look at who deserves the seat more.

Giovinazzi has had a quiet couple of seasons, hardly making a fuss on the track. But, one can’t blame him, as the team have constantly appeared to struggle, consequently dropping into the bottom field of the grid.

Formula One F1 – Emilia Romagna Grand Prix – Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari, Imola, Italy – Alfa Romeo’s Antonio Giovinazzi walks around the track ahead of the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix REUTERS/Jennifer Lorenzini

Giovinazzi remains the only driver to have scored a point this season for Alfa Romeo. But, is one point going to make a difference?

No. Alfa Romeo needs a shake-up in the team, as they are clearly heading towards Haas’ 2020 scenario. Even Italian outfit affirmed their interest in starting the 2022 season with 2 fresh drivers. Hence, Ilott is currently the best option.

The Briton has devoted the year 2020 entirely to Ferrari, giving up on Formula 2 and Formula 3. Ilott has spent a load of time in the simulator, assisting the Scuderia over ongoing and future developments, in and out of F1. Hence, offering a 2021 seat at Alfa Romeo is the least they could do for Ilott.

Why Ilott shouldn’t worry about Schumacher or Hulkenberg

There are obviously several drivers contending for the Sauber-owned seat. Well, there is Mick Schumacher. Let’s assume the German switches to Alfa Romeo in 2022.

This scenario wouldn’t affect Ilott much, as the Briton will then have a vacant seat at Haas, alongside Nikita Mazepin. But, what about drivers like Nico Hulkenberg, who could arrive from outside of the current F1 grid?

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Formula One F1 – Formula One – Azerbaijan Grand Prix – Baku City Circuit, Baku, Azerbaijan – June 3, 2021 Haas’ Mick Schumacher ahead of the Grand Prix REUTERS/Anton Vaganov

Hulkenberg is yearning to make a comeback into F1, but there’s another good news for Ilott. Being associated with a Mercedes-backed Aston Martin, Hulkenberg’s primary choice remains Williams.

With George Russell set for a Mercedes move next season, the vacant seat alongside Nicholas Latifi will tempt the German more. Hence, Ilott remains the leading contender for a drive at Alfa Romeo in 2022.

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And a Bottas-Ilott combination certainly looks juicy. So, how is the musical chair-like transfer market going to play out in the end?

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Rohit Kumar

1139 articles

Rohit Kumar is an F1 author at EssentiallySports. He has been an ardent follower of the racing series since 2007, with his love for the sport coinciding with his love for Kimi Raikkonen. He is also an ardent follower of Sebastian Vettel and Aston Martin Racing.

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