Antonio Giovinazzi believes he returns to Formula One as a “better driver” and that he is well placed to challenge Kimi Raikkonen at Alfa Romeo Racing.
Formula One returnee Giovinazzi believes that 2007 world champion Kimi Raikkonen is a “good target” for his first full season in the sport.
With only two Grands Prix under his belt (as a stand-in for the injured Pascal Wehrlein at Sauber in 2017), Giovinazzi has secured his first full-time drive in Formula One, becoming Italy’s first F1 driver since 2011.
He had a promising, but difficult time in his first brief Formula One stint, but the 25-year-old is adamant that his time as a development driver – where he drove for Ferrari, Haas and Sauber in various test days – has yielded improvements in his own ability.
“I’ve worked with a lot of different people, different engineering teams, but I think it’s been a good experience,” said Giovinazzi.
“To work with Ferrari in the last two years has been very good. Fortunately I am a better driver than what I was in 2016/2017.”
Raikkonen had been largely out-scored by his team-mates at Ferrari, but Giovinazzi insists that the 2007 world champion is still a “good target” for his own performance levels.
“Kimi is really motivated this year, and for me it’s something that’s really good to have. He can be a teacher, but also a reference during the year with results,” added GIovinazzi.
“The important thing is to work really well together, going in the same direction with the car and achieving the best results for the team.
“He’s a good target. He’s a world champion driver, he’s a recent race winner last season, so I think he can be a really good target.”