Antonio Giovinazzi, Sauber, Shanghai International Circuit, 2017

Giovinazzi wants to banish memories of China 2017 with first F1 points

2019 Chinese Grand Prix

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Antonio Giovinazzi says he wants to put the memories of his dismal 2017 Chinese Grand Prix behind him by scoring his first F1 points this weekend.

He crashed during qualifying at the race at the Shanghai International Circuit two years ago while substituting for the injured Pascal Wehrlein at Sauber.

Giovinazzi handed the seat back to Wehrlein at the nest round and didn’t race in F1 again until he rejoined the team, now called Alfa Romeo, as a full-time driver at the beginning of this season.

“I was sure this question would come up,” said Giovinazzi when asked about his previous visit to Shanghai. “Qualifying was the last corner,” he recalled, “but then in the race was on the straight aquaplaning so nothing I could do.”

He said he took valuable experience from the weekend. “I think it’s past now. Of course it was not the best weekend [for] me. But was just experience for my side. It happened, I think not forget [it] because in the end was still there, that weekend, but was something that made me better I would say.”

Giovinazzi made his F1 debut at very short notice two years ago. Although he did some pre-season testing in the Sauber, Wehrlein completed Friday practice in Melbourne before stepping down. At Shanghai poor visibility on Friday meant Giovinazzi again missed out on a lot of running.

“Now for sure I’m in a different situation,” he said. “I did already two grands prix [as an] official driver. I did my winter test. So it’s a different situation.

Antonio Giovinazzi, Alfa Romeo, Bahrain International Circuit, 2019
Giovinazzi says he’s a “different driver” now
“I’m looking forward to this weekend to be honest. After Melbourne and Bahrain where I was really close to get points now for sure the target for this weekend is to get some points, first points for me in F1.”

“I didn’t know the team quite well,” he added. “It was not my car. Now I’m just more confident.

“I did two years driving a lot the simulator and a lot of tests with Ferrari. So [I’m] a different driver. It’s a normal weekend. I know what happened two years ago but it’s a weekend like Bahrain or like Melbourne so I need to enjoy and try to make the best result for the team.”

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2019 F1 season

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Antonio Giovinazzi, Sauber, Shanghai International Circuit, 2017
Giovinazzi crashed in qualifying and the race on his last visit to Shanghai

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Dieter Rencken
Dieter Rencken has held full FIA Formula 1 media accreditation since 2000, during which period he has reported from over 300 grands prix, plus...
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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3 comments on “Giovinazzi wants to banish memories of China 2017 with first F1 points”

  1. The look on that marshal’s face – was there a caption competition for that top photo?

    1. “And where do you want me to push that?

  2. i never got why people made such a big deal about that. he was a unprepared rookie making two mistakes in somewhat tricky conditions. nothing other drivers didn’t do. if he now tries to drive extra cautious and loses speed nobody wins. (well technically as a Kimi fan I somewhat win)

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