Kimi Raikkonen, Antonio Giovinazzi, Alfa Romeo C38 presentation, Circuit de Catalunya, 2019

Giovinazzi sees Raikkonen as his “teacher”

2019 F1 season

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Antonio Giovinazzi says his Alfa Romeo team mate Kimi Raikkonen is someone he can both learn from and compare himself against in his first full season of Formula 1.

The pair previously worked together at Ferrari, who Raikkonen drove for last year while Giovinazzi was the team’s simulator driver.

Alfa Romeo made an encouraging start to testing last week and Giovinazzi said his new team mate “is really motivated this year.”

“For me it’s something really good to have. For me he can be a teacher but also a reference during the year with the results and everything.

“I think the important thing in the end is to work really well together, going on the same direction with the car and achieve the best result for the team.”

Giovinazzi expects Alfa Romeo to treat himself and his more experienced team mate equally. The 25-year-old says Raikkonen’s years of success in the sport will make him a valuable benchmark.

“He’s a world champion driver, he’s a driver who won just in October [his] last race in F1. So I think he can be a really good target.”

Giovinazzi made his F1 debut for the team two years ago when it was Sauber. He sees a new spirit in the team following its successful 2018 campaign and rebranding as Alfa Romeo.

“I think in the end we have the same people working there but for sure with a lot more motivation,” he said.

“Of course after the good year they did last year all the people they are really motivated and this is something really good to see also from my side and Kimi. We are working really well, we need to keep working like this and make sure everything will be good in Melbourne.”

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11 comments on “Giovinazzi sees Raikkonen as his “teacher””

  1. Good luck, mate – I imagine you’ll get as much out of Kimi as the hoards of reporters do each weekend.

    1. Maybe if Giovinazzi brings a fridge of choc ices he might have a chance..?

    2. EmancipatedMonkeys
      25th February 2019, 12:01

      From the sounds of it, Kimi appears to have a new lease on life, and seems in a really good place right now. I think he really wants to focus on developing the team, and I imagine that extends to acting as a ‘teacher’, as Antonio puts it.

      In fact, if I were a rookie in F1 right now and could choose any team mate to go up against, Kimi would be my number one pick. He’s not going to play politics, he’s motivated, and incredibly well respected in the field. The only thing that might concern Antonio would be if Kimi rediscovers his speed – which I suspect he might.

    3. Antonio probably asks different questions to the reporters, and as long as he’s OK with to-the-point answers and a certain amount of “answering by demonstration”, I think he’ll be fine.

      1. @alianora-la-canta They are a study in contrasts those two, no mistake!

  2. Looking forward to watching the Alfa Romeo team this year – it certainly looks good and seems to be on form in testing. With Raikkonen at the wheel, I’d imagine some strong underdog performances… especially if the link with Ferrari is as strong as has been suggested.

    He’ll certainly be a benchmark for Giovinazzi, but a teacher? I can’t imagine Kimi being overly forthcoming in his teachings.

    1. @ben-n Kimi doesn’t show the public squat, but behind the scenes his teams always describes him as incredibly helpful with development and setup. He wouldn’t have that reputation among them if he acted the same way toward them as he does the press. It’s not a stretch to see him being helpful to Giovinazzi as well, especially since he’s got a two year contract and he said he’ll likely be gone by time the new regulations kick in in 2021, so it’s not like he’s fighting to keep his seat. He’s really got nothing to lose by mentoring his team mate, and the team has a lot to gain by scoring as many points as possible with both drivers and by Kimi being able to pass the torch to Antonio when he leaves, who can then in turn mentor another driver coming up from the development program.

      In any case, I hope that is how it goes down because I like Vasseur and the team and love seeing how fast they have turned around from the back of the grid just a couple years ago. I hope to see them snag a couple podiums this year.

  3. Some have forgotten that Kimi out-qualified Seb for one of the years they had together, and while Seb is the fastest one-lapper currently in F1, Kimi was always thereabouts for the rest of the qualifying battle. He certainly strongly out-drove Seb in the second half of 2018.

    The decision to ditch him from the team at that point was clearly illogical. The guy who said he made the decision [of course it was made for him by the illusive top guns higher up] was himself binned down the waste shute, and has by now been re-cycled into machine parts from the gold teeth, travel luggage from the famous supposedly thick skin, and canned pet food from the rest.

    1. Islander, I believe that you are thinking of the 2016 season, where Kimi is listed as outqualifying Vettel 11 times to 10. The figure is, however, a bit contentious since it includes the results from the 2016 Singapore GP.

      Whilst Vettel did set a lap time in Q3, he deliberately didn’t bother trying to set a competitive time because he was going to start from the back of the grid anyway due to engine and gearbox grid penalties. He therefore only bothered to set a lap time that would be within the 107% limit for that session – so, whilst it does count as Kimi “outqualifying” Vettel, since both drivers did set a lap time, in reality Kimi “won” that contest by default.

  4. Hi Anon

    Hard luck stories do not count I’m afraid.
    If they did, then Kimi would have a few of his own. For example there was Ferrari failing to fuel him in Spa 2018 when it was looking very good for Kimi to have a shot at pole.

    As far as Sundays go, IIRC he had 4 dnfs last year, none his fault, otherwise his end of year tally would have been very close to Vettel’s.
    But results are results. That’s the point.

  5. Kimi sees Giovinazzi as “who?”

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