Not a driver you’d associate with the fiery killer instincts of a Fernando Alonso. Not someone you’d liken to a competitor with the flying speed of a Max Verstappen either. Also, perhaps not a driver who sways audiences with mercurial race craft like Sergio Perez.
Antonio Giovinazzi is a man of his instincts and caliber. He might not seem as rushed as perhaps some of the other drivers on the world’s fastest Motorsport grid, but what sets the Italian apart from the rest is that he permeates a vibe of quiet sincerity.
Setting the Scene for Antonio Giovinazzi and Alfa Romeo at the Monaco Grand Prix
Giovinazzi and his dimpled smile and the carefree exuberance signaled by the long-locked looks make way for steely resolve the moment its visors down, and the red lights turn green.
The latter mentioned above enabled the 27-year-old Giovinazzi to score a fighting P10 at the Monaco Grand Prix, which finally ended the drought of points that had hurt his Swiss-Italian outfit.
Going pointless for a single race can hurt an ambitious midfielder like Giovinazzi, especially in this point-hungry age of Formula 1, where drivers compete not just with infectious pace but also stringent regulations that often seem either unjust or unfathomable. And going blank in four consecutive races, Alfa Romeo never looked the part of a happy midfielder.
And in collecting a point, if only solitary, Antonio Giovinazzi laid to rest two key challenges that may have hitherto punctuated his Formula 1 journey with a seeming behemoth challenge:
1) How to get the better of Kimi Raikkonen, not just his teammate, but Antonio’s racing idol.
2) The decisive moment where the team would finally manage to open its account.
And that Alfa Romeo finally got going at the Monaco Grand Prix thanks to Antonio Giovinazzi (not courtesy of the most experienced driver on the entire grid), should effectively put an end to any doubts about the Marina Franca-born’s capabilities. At a track where it’s perhaps more about skill than sheer speed, Giovinazzi, competing in only his second run at the famous Monaco Grand Prix, persistently kept the nose of his Alfa Romeo ahead of his teammate’s.
In the process, he demonstrated the grittiness and composure you’d expect from a shining product who graduated from the Ferrari Driver Academy, no longer a boy buoyed by the challenges to take up F1 but a man who was coming into his own.
Moreover, that there never came a moment where Antonio Giovinazzi allowed anyone among the fighting troika of Alonso, Tsunoda, and Russell to leap ahead of the red and white liveried machine gave ample demonstration of the Italian’s will to succeed at a track that’s no child’s play. And guess what? It may not even seem unjust to remark that while much of our attention (and rightly so), would’ve rested with Max’s fine win and Lewis’ not so fine race for they’re the stars, there was a quiet twinkle about a driver who finally seems to be getting the hang of a sport infested with ceaseless challenges.
Recounting the Past of Antonio Giovinazzi
Last year, Giovinazzi and Kimi both received a contract extension, which may undoubtedly have given an enormous talking point to naysayers who’d have questioned Vasseur’s intent of persisting with a youngster beaten fair and square by an aging veteran.
In 2020, the one to push Alfa Romeo to their first-ever Q2 on the much-important Saturdays was Raikkonen, courtesy of his P14 but not before the F1 circus reached the Spanish GP.
Giovinazzi, all this while, struggled behind. He didn’t even get into a position of sentimental authority to make it to one of the three Driver of the Day polls while Kimi shone brightly at Portimao.
However, this year, the tables have turned, and the Italian Giovinazzi has bettered The Iceman in both qualifying and race results. At Spain and Imola, he seemed nearly half a second clear of the other Alfa Romeo.
Moreover, thus far, he’s hardly allowed Kimi (a man with 18 poles against his name) to be the Mr. Saturday for Alfa Romeo. At Monaco, it seemed that had there been three more laps or five, at the most, Giovinazzi, as he’s often called, would’ve got the better of Ocon’s Alpine, a car that he’d eventually end just seven-tenths behind.
Now that he’s shone brightly at a street course where overtaking is hard to imagine, it’ll be Giovinazzi who’ll enter the next stop, another street course with spring in his step (Raikkonen maybe not so much). Azerbaijan awaits twenty drivers for what could be a belter of a contest. Can the Italian Jesus Giovinazzi continue his groove and find his blessed form?