Giovinazzi no longer needs Raikkonen as F1 reference – Vasseur

Alfa Romeo team boss Fred Vasseur believes Antonio Giovinazzi no longer needs his experienced teammate Kimi Raikkonen as a reference after changing his approach in Formula 1.

Giovinazzi no longer needs Raikkonen as F1 reference – Vasseur

Giovinazzi is in his third full season with Alfa Romeo, scoring the Swiss team's first point of 2021 with a 10th place in Monaco.

After a difficult debut campaign with the team in 2019, Giovinazzi got on par with Raikkonen as the pair finished 2020 with four points each, while Giovinazzi narrowly outqualified the 2007 world champion by nine to eight.

The Italian vowed to keep learning from his vastly more experienced teammate in 2021, but ahead of the season team boss Vasseur expressed the hope that the 27-year-old would progress to take on more responsibilities.

Speaking to Autosport's sister site Motorsport.com Italy in an exclusive interview, Vasseur said he believes Giovinazzi is now ready to be a team leader alongside a less experienced teammate should 41-year-old Raikkonen retire after this season.

"I think so, because the feedback from Antonio is quite solid," Vasseur said.

"Probably one of the issues he had in the past was that he was too focused on Kimi as a reference, and he has to be focused on himself.

"I think the big change he had over the last 12 months is that when he did this kind of move to say 'OK, now let's be focused on myself, I am doing the job, I'm able to do the job, and if I am at 100% of my capacity, I will do a decent job'. And he did this change of approach.

Antonio Giovinazzi, Alfa Romeo Racing C41

Antonio Giovinazzi, Alfa Romeo Racing C41

Photo by: Jerry Andre / Motorsport Images

"It is not easy, because very often the first reference is your teammate, and now he's taking his own position into the team. And this is also important for us."

Vasseur believes Giovinazzi has made another step in the early part of 2021, having outqualified Raikkonen by four to one in the season's first five grands prix.

"He clearly did a step in between the two seasons, but it was already like this in the second part of 2020," he explained.

"If you have a look, he did a decent quali, except Imola where he had the issue [being overtaken by Nikita Mazepin at the end of the out lap].

"But the other qualis he was leading the team. And it's important for us to have the stability, as we said before, that I think that Antonio is growing up, he is improving.

"He was a bit... I don't know if unlucky is the right word, but we had too many issues during the race to score points, but at least the pace was there.

"And most important is that we have 23 races, and if the pace is there we'll score points. Antonio is doing a good job."

shares
comments

Related video

Between the lines: In defence of Formula 1's track limits
Previous article

Between the lines: In defence of Formula 1's track limits

Next article

Aston Martin "clawing back" performance in 2021 F1 season

Aston Martin "clawing back" performance in 2021 F1 season
Why few could blame Leclerc for following the example of Hamilton’s exit bombshell Plus

Why few could blame Leclerc for following the example of Hamilton’s exit bombshell

OPINION: Ferrari's numerous strategy blunders, as well as some of his own mistakes, have cost Charles Leclerc dearly in the 2022 Formula 1 title battle in the first half of the season. Though he is locked into a deal with Ferrari, few could blame Leclerc if he ultimately wanted to look elsewhere - just as Lewis Hamilton did with McLaren 10 years prior

Formula 1
Aug 9, 2022
The other McLaren exile hoping to follow Perez's path to a top F1 seat Plus

The other McLaren exile hoping to follow Perez's path to a top F1 seat

After being ditched by McLaren earlier in his F1 career Sergio Perez fought his way back into a seat with a leading team. BEN EDWARDS thinks the same could be happening to another member of the current grid

Formula 1
Aug 8, 2022
How studying Schumacher helped make Coulthard a McLaren F1 mainstay Plus

How studying Schumacher helped make Coulthard a McLaren F1 mainstay

Winner of 13 grands prix including Monaco and survivor of a life-changing plane crash, David Coulthard could be forgiven for having eased into a quiet retirement – but, as MARK GALLAGHER explains, in fact he’s busier than ever, running an award-winning media company and championing diversity in motor racing. Not bad for someone who, by his own admission, wasn’t quite the fastest driver of his generation…

Formula 1
Aug 7, 2022
Could F1 move to a future beyond carbonfibre? Plus

Could F1 move to a future beyond carbonfibre?

Formula 1 has ambitious goals for improving its carbon footprint, but could this include banishing its favoured composite material? PAT SYMONDS considers the alternatives to carbonfibre and what use, if any, those materials have in a Formula 1 setting

Formula 1
Aug 6, 2022
How Russell has proven he deserves to be Hamilton's Mercedes heir Plus

How Russell has proven he deserves to be Hamilton's Mercedes heir

He’s fast, he’s smart, and he’s already shown he’s not going to let Max Verstappen intimidate him. George Russell won’t say it, but LUKE SMITH says he’s ready to take the lead at Mercedes when Lewis Hamilton moves on to a quieter life. And – whisper it – Mercedes and Lewis are starting to think so too

Formula 1
Aug 5, 2022
The traits that fuelled Alonso's unexpected Aston Martin move Plus

The traits that fuelled Alonso's unexpected Aston Martin move

Fernando Alonso’s bombshell switch to Aston Martin sent shockwaves through Formula 1, not least at Alpine that finds itself tangled in a contract standoff with Oscar Piastri. Not shy of a bold career move and with a CV punctuated by them, there were numerous hints that trouble was brewing

Formula 1
Aug 4, 2022
The elements Ferrari must resolve to first save face, then win championships Plus

The elements Ferrari must resolve to first save face, then win championships

OPINION: Ferrari's Formula 1 title hopes look all but over after another strategic blunder in last week's Hungarian Grand Prix denied Charles Leclerc the chance to fight for victory, while handing it to chief rival Max Verstappen. The Scuderia now faces intense scrutiny over what it must now do to finally become a genuine factor in championship battles

Formula 1
Aug 3, 2022
The clues about Hamilton’s F1 retirement plans revealed after Vettel’s decision Plus

The clues about Hamilton’s F1 retirement plans revealed after Vettel’s decision

OPINION: Sebastian Vettel is set to leave Formula 1 at the end of 2022 and will, rather shockingly, be replaced by Fernando Alonso at Aston Martin. But what about the final chapter of the other driver that defined the post-Michael Schumacher era? In Hungary, Lewis Hamilton spoke about his future in the context of Vettel’s upcoming departure, which offered clues on how long it will last

Formula 1
Aug 2, 2022