Antonio Giovinazzi on Alfa Romeo exit: Money rules in F1

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After it was confirmed he will not continue with Alfa Romeo next season, Antonio Giovinazzi said Formula One can be “ruthless” when decisions are dictated by money over talent.

Giovinazzi will be replaced by the well-funded Guanyu Zhou, who will be China’s first ever Formula One driver.

Giovinazzi burst into F1 contention after finishing second in Formula 3 in 2015 and in Formula 2 the following season. However, he also had strong support from Ferrari to thank for pushing him into F1.

The Italian driver impressed as a stand-in for Pascal Wehrlein in 2017 at Sauber and continued as a test driver as it was rebranded to Alfa Romeo in 2018.

He was then given a full-time drive in 2019 alongside Kimi Raikkonen, although the uncompetitive cars Alfa Romeo have delivered in his three seasons have made it difficult for him to make a regular impression in the top ten.

In a post of himself sitting in a toy Ferrari as a child, Giovinazzi left little doubt over what factors he blamed for losing his seat on Tuesday.

“F1 is emotion, talent, cars, risk, speed,” he wrote on Twitter. “But when money rules it can be ruthless.

“I believe in the surprise of an unexpected result, of big or small victories achieved thanks to one’s commitment. If this was my first picture on a F1, the last still has to be taken.”

With Valtteri Bottas already confirmed as Raikkonen’s teammate, Giovinazzi’s future at Alfa Romeo had looked doubtful for a while. Zhou had been in in talks with the team for several months, while American driver Colton Herta was briefly considered while Michael Andretti was in talks to buy Sauber. Those talks have since fallen through.

Giovinazzi has been critical of the team in recent races, suggesting it intentionally compromised his strategy at the Mexican Grand Prix when he felt the timing of a pit-stop had cost him a top ten finish.

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