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Giovinazzi: When money rules F1 can be "ruthless"

Ousted Alfa Romeo driver Antonio Giovinazzi has left a pointed remark about how Formula 1 can be a "ruthless" sport when money talks.

Antonio Giovinazzi, Alfa Romeo Racing

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

The Italian has lost his seat for 2022 to well-funded Chinese driver Guanyu Zhou, who is making the step up from Formula 2 to be Valtteri Bottas' teammate.

Zhou's promotion is understood to have been eased by backing from Chinese sponsors, which ensure Alfa Romeo of a budget that Giovinazzi himself could not have matched.

After a career where Giovinazzi has battled the odds to make it to the top on talent alone, having never had wealthy supporters to bankroll him, the Italian is obviously disappointed to have seen his grand prix career come to an end.

Posting on his social media channels, Giovinazzi said he would push on until his final F1 race, but there was no denying about some of the factors that he believed had contributed to his exit.

"F1 is emotion, talent, cars, risk, speed," he wrote, posting an image of himself sitting in a toy Ferrari car as a child. "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."

 

As well as any short-term sponsorship that Zhou brings with him, Alfa Romeo has openly spoken about how China's first F1 driver could open up huge commercial opportunities for the whole of grand prix racing.

Antonio Giovinazzi, Alfa Romeo Racing C41

Antonio Giovinazzi, Alfa Romeo Racing C41

Photo by: Zak Mauger / Motorsport Images

Team principal Fred Vasseur told Motorsport.com: "Everybody's excited. It's not just about Alfa Romeo, Orlen or another one, you know that everybody's trying to develop commercial links with China, and this is the best way to do it.

"It's much more about potential. It could be much faster than '23/'24. For us and our sales department, it's a huge opportunity, and we have to work on it."

F1 recently made it clear that it was fully committed to the future of the Chinese Grand Prix, having rolled over its ongoing contract until the end of 2025.

Giovinazzi's future is unclear, but as a member of Ferrari's young driver academy he could take a reserve and test driver role with the F1 squad alongside potential sportscar opportunities.

UPDATE: Just a few hours following the announcement about his departure from F1 after the 2021 season, Giovinazzi secured a switch to FE with Jay Penske’s Dragon squad.

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