Antonio Giovinazzi, Sauber, Yas Marina

Giovinazzi: Sauber aim to be “best of the rest” in 2019

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In the round-up: New Sauber driver Antonio Giovinazzi says the team is aiming to finish top in the midfield battle this year.

What they say

Sauber was the most-improved team of 2018 in terms of pure lap time and had the fifth-quickest car at each of the last three races. Giovinazzi says the team must aim to build on that this year but expects the competition will be tough:

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.

Quotes: Dieter Rencken

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Comment of the day

@Palindnilap isn’t impressed by the Formula One Promoters Association’s criticism of how Liberty Media is running F1:

The part about broadcasting behind a pay wall is completely unfair, it has nothing to do with what Liberty has done or is doing.

The rest sounds like self-interested whining. Of course it is not in the interest of existing race promoters that new races are added to the calendar. Maybe the real aim of that statement is to prepare for the bargaining for discounts.

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Author information

Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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29 comments on “Giovinazzi: Sauber aim to be “best of the rest” in 2019”

  1. Ferrari’s comms boss, ex-journalist Alberto Antonini, though unquestionably loyal to his boss, was also known as Alberto Anton-no-no, because that was invariably the answer – whatever the question

    Quite possibly the best excerpt of an article I’ve seen in a long time here! :)

  2. COTD, Just for laughs eh Keith.

  3. Having the best driver in the sport driving for them should help Sauber to achieve that goal.

    1. Best driver in the sport is a long shot!

      1. He won a race last year, so I guess it isn’t such a long shot.

        1. In probably the fastest car.. Only one.
          Others in way lesser material won more races.

    2. I wouldnt rate Antonio that high just yet ;)

      1. @rethla
        Best answer so far! ^^

    3. I think you’re confusing giving amusing interviews with getting race results.

    4. Ahhh, Poe’s law in full application … Is it bona fide blindfolded extremism, or a satire thereof? You decide!

    5. @huhhii The delusion is real with this one.

      1. @mashiat Hoping for a world where people can’t have opinions and where everybody thinks the same? That’s delusinonal, if anything.

  4. I suspect there was a slide about that new test bench in the presentation demonstrating their investment to Danny Ric.

    1. Is it just me or is anyone else nervous about all the “good news” stories emanating from Renault.

      Maybe I’m just a bit cynical but we’ve heard promises from them before that have fairly quickly been retracted just before testing commences.

      I’m really hoping for the best but know full well what usually happens when a team changes “everything” for the next car (Ferrari were masters of it a few years back) only to find that they’ve taken a huge step backwards.

      So looking forward to the start of testing. Then I guess we’ll get some idea of whether it’s just smoke or something real.

      1. Let’s hope Renault can give ricci the tools he need and the hulk of course.

  5. Fourth in the WCC indeed is a really high target, perhaps a little too optimistic as well. I suspect Renault’s going to be a relatively clear 4th best team (at least they should be more evidently ahead of the non-manufacturer midfield teams pace-wise than they were last season.)

    Regarding the Sky-article: Mainly the former, though.

    1. Fourth in the WCC indeed is a really high target, perhaps a little too optimistic as well.

      @jerejj – fully agreed. Like you say, Renault will most likely be up there, and Haas and Racing Point aren’t going to be sitting idle either (especially with funding secured for RPFI), provided the drivers deliver to the cars’ potential. I’d really have preferred it if Sauber let their results do the talking – it would be embarrassing for them if it turns out that either McLaren or Williams or both come good this year and start overhauling Sauber.

      1. @phylyp I see zero wrong with the Sauber statement. They didn’t say they gonna be fourth. They say that their aim is to be at the front of the midfield and for any midfield team that should be the target. However they also said that with the level of competition that target will be extremely difficult to achieve. Given the above I don’t see how could they embarrass themselves if they’re not top of the midfield. the only way they can embarrass themselves is to be 2017 level slow again but that would not be due to a statement but due to the rubbish job done by the tech team

    2. Considering they were probably the fourth quickest team by Abu Dhabi last season, this target isn’t as far fetched as it seems.

      1. Magnus Rubensson (@)
        30th January 2019, 17:15

        5th might be possible but I agree that Renault look likely to be some way ahead in 4th.
        Ricciardo + Hulkenberg is a very, very strong lineup…

  6. Well if it’s any consolation Antonio, I think ‘best of the rest’ WILL be 5th this season, because fingers crossed Renault will be right up there with Red Bull.

    1. @bealzbob
      That sounds like a big ask, to be honest. The gap between Red Bull and Renault was in the vicinity of 1.5 seconds per lap in the races, sometimes even 2 seconds on circuits such as Silverstone or Singapore. Even if Red Bull experience a significant setback with Honda (which I think is still the most likely scenario when looking at what Toro Rosso endured last year), that gap is huge. Differences between engines tend to be vastly exaggerated (especially by one of the teams in question here), so I doubt that losing 1.5 seconds just by switching engine manufacturers is possible. I’d be amazed if the difference between Mercedes and/or Ferrari on the one hand, and Honda on the other hand, exceeded 1.5 seconds at any stage in the past two seasons. So, obviously, there would be no way the difference between Renault and Honda could be that large. It was worth a few tenths in McLaren’s / Toro Rosso’s case last season, which affected the results rather significantly since the midfield was extremely sensitive to changes of that order of magnitude. But that’s not the case for Red Bull. On a good day, they were able to get in the mix with Mercedes and Ferrari, occasionally stealing podiums or even race wins from them. On a bad day, they were still easily at least half a lap ahead of the strongest midfield contender.
      Even if we assume that Red Bull lose half a second for engine-related reasons alone, Renault would have to find a second per lap to close the gap.
      I just don’t see it happening. At least, not yet.

    2. @bealzbob I agree. Although I think the gap between Renault and Redbull will shrink, whilst the gap from RB to Ferrari/Mercedes will grow slightly.

      The switch to Honda power leaves a big question mark here. I predict a surprisingly strong start marred by reliability, followed by a solid second half. And a tight battle between the two. With RB coming out on top.

      I think Force India will be fifth.

      1. Nase also makes a solid argument. Whilst I was still typing.

        1. The way I’m looking at it though, is that a 1/2 second loss of speed IS enough to separate them from the podium fight, provided at least 3 of the 4 Mercs/Ferarris get to the end.

          In terms of the overall championship standings it was THAT gap that gave them a big points advantage with the points dropping off more rapidly from the front positions these days. I think the standings gaps could be smaller behind the big two in 2019.

          But I’m speculating wildly.

          1. @gongtong

            The way I’m looking at it though, is that a 1/2 second loss of speed IS enough to separate them from the podium fight, provided at least 3 of the 4 Mercs/Ferarris get to the end.

            Completely agree. The scenario in my crystal ball does see them drop back a little, so that they might not be able to achieve podiums without major problems at Mercedes and/or Ferrari.
            And Renault, on the other hand, might be able to come ahead of the midfield fight in a similar manner as Force India did in 2017, so that Red Bull might not be able to pull away in the standings quite as easily as they did in 2018.
            And of course, I didn’t address the subject of reliability at all (primarily because my intention was to make a prediction on their competitiveness in terms of race pace). Yes, Red Bull could end up losing tons of points because of reliability issues. After all, Toro Rosso had their engines changed before every other race in 2018, and still ended up having the worst reliability of all entries (at least in terms of mileage; they were slightly ‘beaten’ in terms of races finished by … Red Bull). In other words: When the team with the worst inherent reliability (which, barring 2013, I think, was never their strong suit) meets the engine manufacturer with the worst reliability, expect the letter combination ‘DNF’ to play a major role. Or grid penalties, which could turn out to them hurt more if their pace advantage over the midfield has indeed shrunk.

            So, I completely agree with you in that it is reasonable to assume that both teams will move closer together in the standings.
            However, I predict that Renault will, on a normal race day, be unable to challenge Red Bull pace-wise.

          2. @gongtong & nase. Obviously yes this is all crystal ball stuff, and mine is notoriously unreliable (I bought it cheap). I’m working off the basis that Red Bull will come back to the field to some degree and Renault will both progress and increase their development rate over the season as they focus on their own bespoke solution. If worst comes to the worst as outlined above, and Red Bull’s drop off is so catastrophic because of reliability and performance combined, then it might be the case that THIRD becomes best of the rest because Merc & Ferrari will be in entirely their own championship. That would be horrible as a spectacle, although Max’s outbursts would no doubt be worth watching.

            Thankfully, a lot of my enjoyment this season is going to come from watching McLaren and Williams hopefully make progress, and I’ve massively high hopes for Russell.

  7. Is Antonio Giovinazzi running number 36 next year, can anybody confirm?

    That’s my lucky number and I’ve been dreading the day that another driver took it. Although my opportunities of getting an F1 drive do seem slim at 34 years old and with zero experience in single seaters.

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