F1 return for Giovinazzi possible in 2023 when “11 seats” open up

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In the round-up: Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto says its reserve driver Antonio Giovinazzi could return to Formula 1 after next season as more than half the field will be out of contract at the end of the year.

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In brief

Opportunity for Giovinazzi in 2023 – Binotto

Giovinazzi lost his place at Alfa Romeo this year after three seasons with the team, but Binotto believes the driver has a chance to claim a seat in 2023 – potentially even with Ferrari.

“With Antonio no doubt that I think there can be some more opportunity for him in 2023 to find a seat,” said Binotto.

“There are, I think, 11 seats which will be free in 2023. I’m not saying that all of them will simply be free at the end of the season but if I look at the contract today of drivers, 11 contracts are finishing by the end of 2022. Including Carlos.

“That’s the situation, which means that as a driver, if you’ve got any opportunity in 2023, I think a few are possible. So that’s why I think it’s important for him as a driver to still be part of our F1 programme as a reserve driver, doing activities at the simulator and keeping up to speed to the 2022 cars.”

Newey’s injuries revealed

Adrian Newey, Red Bull, Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, 2021
Newey was badly injured in August
Adrian Newey’s wife Amanda revealed the extent of the injuries the 63-year-old Red Bull chief technical officer suffered in a cycling accident earlier this year.

“[In] August, I came close to losing the love of my life after his cycling accident,” she stated in a social media post. “Multiple skull fractures to then sitting on a virtual pit wall of the Dutch Grand [Prix] within 10 days of his craniotomy displays his strength and drive.

“His recovery has been nothing short of miraculous.”

Masi ‘April Fools’ story

An ‘April Fools’ story concerning FIA Formula 1 race director Michael Masi was widely picked up and distributed elsewhere by publications which mistakenly assumed the report was genuine.

The false story claimed the sport’s governing body had confirmed Masi will remain as race director for the 2022 F1 season following criticism over his handling of the championship-deciding race in Abu Dhabi this month. It was regurgitated by multiple English-language outlets and distributed via Google News and other aggregation services.

“For our international friends picking up this story, the 28th of December is the Spanish equivalent to April Fools’,” original publisher SoyMotor subsequently pointed out on social media. “Make sure you remember for next year.”

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Comment of the day

Formula 1 has taken a lot of flak over the farcical end to its season, but @Ciaran believes it is in good health, on balance:

F1 is in fantastic shape.

There has been no point in its history when things were done perfectly, or everyone was happy with regulatory decisions made. That’s not to bury Masi’s calls, but I’d take him over Balestre any day. What does matter is the level of competition in the sport is far beyond what we’ve seen in the past decade – how quickly people forget the 2013-2016 period of increasingly tepid racing, disillusioned fans and appalling leadership!

Liberty have raised eyebrows over their plans, not all of which I’m in favour of, but they have a plan and are intent on implementing it. Which sounds basic, but is infinitely better than CVC leeching the sport dry. They’ve brought life to a formerly dying sport in a way I presumed unthinkable even five years ago.

Bring on 2022!
@Ciaran

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Journeyer, Naz3012, Rick and Liam Stroud!

On this day in motorsport

Francois Hesnault, Brabham, Imola, 1985
Hesnault also briefly drove for Brabham
  • Born today in 1956: Francois Hesnault, the last driver to start a race as a third entrant for a team, driving a year-old Renault at the 1985 German Grand Prix, having been dropped by Brabham earlier in the year

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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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  • 22 comments on “F1 return for Giovinazzi possible in 2023 when “11 seats” open up”

    1. Did Binotto just say that Sainz’ seat will be open in 2023? That was weird.

      1. @dmw I don’t think he was necessarily implying the seat is up for grabs – just stating the fact that 11 of the 20 drivers are currently out of contract at the end of next year. In all likelihood however, the majority will stay where they are.

      2. @dmw *11 of the 20 drivers, Sainz among those 11.

      3. @dmw Arrivabene got nailed for something similar. You can’t speak to the press like that, especially english written media. They will mince your words. Of course Binotto says nothing wrong but if the media wants to tear you apart, they will. Ferrari tp always has a target on his back. Arrivabene made the mistake of assuming sky sports were their friends when all they were trying to do was destabilise ferrari. I thought Binotto had realised media are not their friends after they imposed a media lockout. I’d say Binotto has to avoid speaking to the press and leave Mekies to it.

    2. Binotto speaking from the wrong end again. what nonsense. There is too much talent waiting in the wings for Gio to ever make it back into F1. Maybe if there is a new entry with Ferrari connections he’d have a chance.

      1. I believe it’s called “pantomime”. It’s big in F1…

        1. Oh no it’s not

          1. Oh yes it is

        2. He’s behind you!

          Then Masi interfered, he rubbed the lamp and five cars disappeared.

          Oh no he’s not!

    3. Recent (last 10 years) drivers who’ve had less time in F1 than Giovinazzi even though they deserve it more: Vandoorne, Albon, Wehrlein, Vergne, Lotterer, Rossi

      Drivers who’ve never been in an F1 race and arguably deserve it more: Piastri, Shwartzman, Frijns, Da Costa, De Vries, Bird, Palou, O’Ward, Herta

      Some of these are obviously debatable and I’m probably also forgetting some.

      Oh and Binotto is of course just saying this because it’s his job to say nice things about Ferrari-affiliated drivers. I wouldn’t read too much into it.

    4. Re: COTD

      I am way more dissilusioned & generally down on F1 now than I have been at any other point since I started following it in 1989. And for me it isn’t about Abu Dhabi or anything, It’s about the direction things are going.

      Liberty do have a vision for F1, A direction they seem to want to go I’ll give them that. The problem for me however is that it’s a vision I’m not sure i share and a direction I’m not sure i want to turn down because not only is it a vision which i feel puts show above sport but also one which is i fear restricting, removing or marginalising elements of it which are things i enjoy.

      As i said in a comment yesterday. I love the sport, I still love everything about it which i always have…. But i just really don’t like how iam increasingly starting to feel like the show is now above the sport & that isn’t something i just really don’t like.

      I just sort of feel like I’m been pushed away reluctantly. And it anoys me because of just how passionate about this sport i am.

      1. Sometimes I wonder why I continue to read what seems to be this same post every day on this site.

        To F1, or not to F1 – that is the question you need to ask yourself @stefmeister.
        If you love something enough, you accept and embrace its ‘shortcomings.’ Learn to like it and be happy with it.
        Or you let it go… Move on and be happy with something else. Life’s too short to stress out and grieve over such things.
        Liberty are telling you vaguely what F1 is going to be in the future. If you don’t want to go along with them, then don’t. They won’t change direction just for you, nor for the rest of the tiny minority who complain on F1 fansites such as this.
        They’ve made no secret that F1 is all about money for them – and in regard to the future direction, they are doing little more than paying lip service to the (perceived) purity and sporting aspects of F1 (that some people actually believe exist – as if the competitors aren’t equally financially-driven).
        The FIA make the bulk of their money from F1, and so have similarly aligned commercial priorities. Yay for capitalism.

        Only when the big money stops will they collectively re-evaluate their choices.

        1. I have to kind of agree here. I’m not the oldest follower of the sport, but “the show” has always been a big part of proceedings.

          In fact, I think you could argue that F1 has always put the sporting side THIRD on the list. It’s business first (selling motorcars and advertising), then it’s the show (fast cars making noise, now with fireworks and DJs) and then sport… The sporting side has always been ridiculed. It’s the least accessible, least equitable most complex “sport” in the world.

          Unfortunately we do just need to learn to suck it up. I agree with the CotD, the direction of Liberty, whilst not necessarily to my liking, is far better than Bernie’s.

          1. Yep, as Masi said, it’s called a motor race, not a sport. I don’t think it’s any much more of a sport than horse racing is. A lot more goes into it than the performance of the rider.

      2. Been watching since ’82 and feel pretty much the same.

      3. I hate Liberty for hypocrisy on social and environmental issues but every corporation done exactly that.

        I don’t like how they make the sport a tv drama with decisions release timing, but it looks like it successfully attracted new young viewers.

        I can accept new venue and new format.

        I love new theme song.

      4. I must say @stefmeister that I do agree.

        I first stumbled across F1 in 1981 & have been watching consistently since that time & have attended many GP weekends & used to regularly go to the testing at Silverstone when that was a thing (They should bring back testing, Was a great way for fans to be able to go and watch the cars regularly without spending a fortune).

        Yet now I find myself at a cross roads. I love the sporting side of things but I am firmly against the more show elements to the point where I found myself tuning out of races more recently & outright not watching the Interlagos sprint weekend & will not be watching any of the 6 next year even if that means I miss the opening round.

        People shouldn’t be surprised however as Liberty are an American company who are turning F1 into an American ‘Sports Entertainment’ brand. They don’t care about the history/Herritage of the sport or it’s fans. They care about gimmicks & artificial nonsence aimed at the American viewer who would never get into F1 as a sport because that just isn’t what your average American viewer will watch.

        It’s frankly exactly what I feared Liberty would do & I think at this point all of those who assured us they wouldn’t need to just admit we were misled.

        Just change the name to Indycar Europe or something because what we have now, What we will have going forward is certainly not F1!

      5. Most of the people I know who were F1 fans no longer watch.

        There is also a fan forum I have been part of for something like 21/22 years which is now far less active than it once was as many have been turned off by the direction things are going.

        My farther, Who was the person who got me into the sport in the mid 90s has also tuned out & cancelled his Sky subscription as he has no desire to watch F1 any longer again because he dislikes the direction it’s heading.

        I am essentially now the only person I know who still plans to watch next year although with 23 races & 6 sprints I will no longer be watching all of them as I simply don’t want to dedicate so many weekends to it. I would also no longer consider myself a diehard/dedicated fan (Or the not normal fans as Ross Brawn would call us I guess, My how i’ve lost respect for Ross over the past 2-3 years) as I would have done up until recently.

        It’s just all going in the wrong direction as far as I am concerned. More show, More restrictive regulations, Too many races, Too many things I consider artificial gimmicks, Too much trying to create fake drama & false narratives, Engine freezes, Development freezes, The wind tunnel sliding scale thing that is just as wrong as success ballast, The promise of shutting down technical developments they don’t like.

        For as much as I still enjoy watching cars been driven to the edge & all that I am just finding that so much of it feels a bit artificial now with things like DRS & show tyres & how some of those dislikes I mentioned are aiming to create forced closer competition (Like a spec series).
        And then there are those technical restrictions & stuff which are hindering things I love about F1 & which put it above many other categories.

        That technical side, The developments…. The extremes are what puts F1 above everything else, What makes it stand out. They are things which drew people in over the decades & which helped keep people interested. I know for me that I’d have never spent so long following F1 if those elements didn’t exist or were as restrictive as they seem to be getting.
        They are things which allowed F1 to be called the pinnacle of the sport, Things that made F1 feel extreme, Feel special.

        F1 has lost it’s identity & as it goes down the path it’s going it will lose it further I think.

    5. Re Binotto: I wouldn’t be against Gio returning. He has talent, I just don’t necessarily think that Alfa car has been competitive enough for him to show it. However, I think there are plenty of other drivers who I would also like to see, in fact from both sides of the pond as well (Indy has some great young talent right now). In fact, I really wanted to see Andretti complete that Sauber deal so we could see Herta in F1, partly just to compare the fields a bit, but also because he is very talented. We’ve had F1 (and F2) drivers cross to Indy quite a bit recently, we haven’t really seen too much movement in the other direction.

      And the only fools come April 1st will be the FIA if Masi is still in charge ;-)

    6. Webber says F2 must lead to F1. Well De Vries isn’t there, it shouldn’t be expected. He has to make it happen, if Alpine won’t do it get a deal with someone who will.

      If anything he’s showing that he’s a bad manager because he can’t sell a team on a F2 championship winning driver.

    7. Surely Giovanazzi’s best bet for the future should be to get into the Ferrari WEC program for 2023. That would seem a heck of lot more exciting than FE with Dragon. If I was Ferrari I’d put Shwartzman in the same program. No openings in F1 likely whatsoever.

    8. Mercedes: Both drivers under contract beyond next season
      RBR: One beyond & the other one definitely won’t be Gio in any case
      Ferrari: If Sainz got replaced, I could only see him getting replaced by Mick, no one else
      Mclaren: Both contracted beyond
      Alpine: Piastri priority over others if Alonso re-quits
      AT: Only RB Academy drivers if driver changes happened
      AM: Only if Seb leaves, although I reckon some other drivers would come before him in priority order
      Williams: I assume Latifi will again stay & possibly also Albon (if not, I’m unsure if Gio would be Williams’ #1 choice)
      AR: Zhou presumably 1+1 & if he discontinues, Pouchaire would be a priority over everyone else
      Haas: Probably an unchanged lineup unless Mick moves to Ferrari
      Long story
      Long story, short, most teams have at least one driver under contract beyond next season & or have other drivers higher on a priority list, so presently, I can’t really see a chance for a 2023 full-time return, but time will tell.

    Comments are closed.