Antonio Giovinazzi is the current imcumbent of the final seat in Formula 1 that’s yet to be confirmed for next season, with all 19 other drivers having now been announced.
Valtteri Bottas will be joining Alfa Romeo next year to replace fellow Finn Kimi Raikkonen, but Giovinazzi’s future is still up in the air, with Chinese F2 racer Guanyu Zhou heavily linked with the drive.
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With his future uncertain, the Italian needs a string of performances good enough to convince the team he’s worthy of another season, but his Russian Grand Prix weekend got off to a tricky start when he crashed heavily at Turn 8 in second practice. After the session he explained what happened.
“The wind was quite inconsistent during the run and I got a little bit of understeer – more understeer than on the lap before – and I touched the grass on the exit and I lost the rear,” he said.
But despite that, the 27-year-old was still encouraged by Alfa Romeo’s pace, having finished 13th quickest in first practice, though he – like the rest of the paddock – was expecting wet weather on Saturday.
“Unfortunately it [the crash] happened but otherwise I think we were not too bad in terms of pace, so we’ll see tomorrow. I think FP1 was not too bad and like I say, FP2 was okay so of course tomorrow is another day, but I think it was a good start.
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“We need to see how much water there will be tomorrow and after that we’ll see how our pace in the wet will be.”
Raikkonen, meanwhile, was 15th in FP1 and 12th in FP2 in his final Russian Grand Prix appearance before he hangs up his helmet at the end of the season.