Giovinazzi to partner Raikkonen at Sauber in 2019

Antonio Giovinazzi will be promoted to a Sauber race seat for the 2019 Formula 1 season, as teammate to Kimi Raikkonen.

Giovinazzi to partner Raikkonen at Sauber in 2019

A Sauber statement said the decision to take 24-year-old Italian Giovinazzi fitted the team's "tradition of discovering and nurturing young talents" and "is particularly significant in the scope of the project" with title sponsor Alfa Romeo.

"This is a dream come true, and it is a great pleasure to have the chance to race for this team," said Giovinazzi.

"As an Italian, it is a huge honour for me to represent a brand as iconic and successful as Alfa Romeo in our sport."

Giovinazzi, who was runner-up to 2019 Red Bull Racing driver Pierre Gasly in the '16 GP2 title race, raced for Sauber twice last season as stand-in for the injured Pascal Wehrlein.

This year he is carrying out a programme of Friday grand prix practice outings with the team, and has also tested for both Haas and Sauber. His 2019 F1 deal will be his first full-time racing chance since his GP2 campaign two years ago.

Ferrari is able to nominate one driver for Sauber through its technical partnership and Alfa Romeo tie-up, and placed Raikkonen's 2019 replacement Charles Leclerc there this season.

Team principal Frederic Vasseur intimated that Giovinazzi had taken the 'Ferrari' seat at Sauber, and that Raikkonen's deal was independent of Maranello.

"We first signed Kimi Raikkonen, an extremely experienced driver who will contribute to the development of our car and will accelerate the progress of our team as a whole," said Vasseur.

"Together with Alfa Romeo, we are delighted to welcome Antonio Giovinazzi, who will take the place of Charles Leclerc.

"We have already had the opportunity to work with him in the past and he has proven to have great potential."

Ericsson departs the Sauber race line-up after four seasons, having joined from Caterham in 2015, having initially been thought likely to stay on due to his links with the investors behind the team.

Sauber said Ericsson would be kept on in the role of "third driver and brand ambassador" alongside Raikkonen and Giovinazzi.

"I am thankful for the past five years of my career which I have spent racing in Formula 1," said Ericsson.

"I am proud to have represented Sauber for four of those years, and for having raced for such an iconic brand as Alfa Romeo this season.

"I would have loved to continue on this path, but having a driver like Kimi Raikkonen on board is a great opportunity for the whole team.

"Going forward, I will continue contributing to the development of the team as I have always done, with full dedication and all of my support."

2019 F1 line-up so far:

Team Drivers
Mercedes

United Kingdom Lewis Hamilton 

Finland Valtteri Bottas 

Ferrari

Germany Sebastian Vettel 

Monaco Charles Leclerc

Red Bull

Netherlands Max Verstappen 

France Pierre Gasly 

Renault

Germany Nico Hulkenberg

Australia Daniel Ricciardo 

Haas

TBC

Force India TBC
McLaren

Spain Carlos Sainz 

United Kingdom Lando Norris

Toro Rosso TBC
Sauber

Finland Kimi Raikkonen

Italy Antonio Giovinazzi

Williams TBC
Antonio Giovinazzi, Sauber C37, in FP1

Antonio Giovinazzi, Sauber C37, in FP1

Photo by: Sam Bloxham / LAT Images

shares
comments
F1 young driver programmes a double-edged sword - Rosberg

Previous article

F1 young driver programmes a double-edged sword - Rosberg

Next article

Wolff would be "overwhelmed" to see Wehrlein back in F1

Wolff would be "overwhelmed" to see Wehrlein back in F1
Load comments
The F1 champion who became an Indy king in his second career Prime

The F1 champion who became an Indy king in his second career

Emerson Fittipaldi’s decision to go racing with his brother led to him falling out of F1, but he bloomed again on the IndyCar scene. NIGEL ROEBUCK considers a career of two halves

Why Mercedes is pleased to be in the Hungary hunt at a 'Red Bull track' Prime

Why Mercedes is pleased to be in the Hungary hunt at a 'Red Bull track'

Mercedes ended Friday practice at the Hungaroring with a clear gap to Red Bull thanks to Valtteri Bottas’s pace in topping FP2. But there are other reasons why the Black Arrows squad feels satisfied with its progress so far at a track many Formula 1 observers reckon favours Red Bull overall...

Formula 1
Jul 30, 2021
How Red Bull endured its second car crash in two weeks Prime

How Red Bull endured its second car crash in two weeks

OPINION: Red Bull was justified to be upset that Lewis Hamilton survived his British GP clash with Max Verstappen and went on to win. But its attempts to lobby the FIA to reconsider the severity of Hamilton's in-race penalty were always likely to backfire, and have only succeeded in creating a PR disaster that will distract from its on-track efforts

Formula 1
Jul 30, 2021
The ‘screaming’ F1 engine future that may not be out of reach Prime

The ‘screaming’ F1 engine future that may not be out of reach

OPINION: It wasn't just the Verstappen/Hamilton clash that had the Red Bull and Mercedes bosses at loggerheads at Silverstone, with the nature of Formula 1's 2025 engines also subject for disagreement. But hopes to have loud, emotive engines that are also environmentally friendly don't have to be opposed.

Formula 1
Jul 29, 2021
How Lotus uncovered, then squandered its last ‘unfair advantage’ Prime

How Lotus uncovered, then squandered its last ‘unfair advantage’

Cast in the mould of its founder Colin Chapman, Lotus was powerful and daring but flawed – as it proved through further soaring peaks and painful troughs into the 1980s. DAMIEN SMITH examines a game-changing era

Formula 1
Jul 27, 2021
The core problems Yas Marina’s long-awaited tweaks won't address Prime

The core problems Yas Marina’s long-awaited tweaks won't address

OPINION: Changes to the layout of Abu Dhabi’s circuit aim to reverse the trend of insipid Formula 1 races there - the promoter has even described one of the new corners as “iconic”. And that, argues STUART CODLING, is one of this venue’s abiding failings

Formula 1
Jul 26, 2021
How Ferrari offered Callum Ilott what Red Bull couldn't Prime

How Ferrari offered Callum Ilott what Red Bull couldn't

Last year's Formula 2 runner-up Callum Ilott could be on his way to becoming the first Briton to contest a grand prix in an Alfa Romeo since Reg Parnell in 1950. But, says Oleg Karpov, the Ferrari Driver Academy protege is having to temper his ambition at the moment – outwardly at least…

Formula 1
Jul 25, 2021
The signs that point to F1's rude health Prime

The signs that point to F1's rude health

OPINION: Formula 1's calendar might still be facing disruption as the pandemic affects travel but, says Mark Gallagher, the business itself is fundamentally strong thanks to the epic rivalry taking place on track and the consistent arrival of new sponsors.

Formula 1
Jul 24, 2021