Haas puts reserve driver Giovinazzi in Schumacher’s car on the request of Ferrari who are looking to move the young German on from their US customer team. Haas driver Mick Schumacher will have to leave his VF-22 to Italian Antonio Giovinazzi during the season as the racing team announced on Monday. This adds further credence to a strong rumour that Mick Schumacher is ultimately destined to join Alpine in some capacity.
The Italian Ferrari reserve driver will be allowed to contest the first free practice in Monza as well as at the US Grand Prix. This also increases the pressure on Schumacher, even though the request came from Ferrari.
Antonio Giovinazzi will drive the first free practice session at both the Italian Grand Prix and the US Grand Prix. Once he will take over for Schumacher, once for his team-mate Kevin Magnussen. The Dane, however, is much more firmly in the Haas saddle than Schumacher due to his longer contract period.
The 28-year-old Giovinazzi has been a reserve driver for Scuderia Ferrari since his Formula 1 retirement after last season. He also drives for Dragon/Penske Autosport in the Formula E series.
In 2017, the Italian was the third Ferrari driver to be entered in Formula 1 for the first time, and he was also a test driver for Haas and a reserve driver for the Sauber racing team. In 2019, he was finally given a regular cockpit at Sauber, which henceforth operated as Alfa Romeo. He finished his last Formula 1 season so far in 2021 in 18th place overall.
“We are pleased to welcome Antonio Giovinazzi back to Haas for two free practice sessions,” said team boss Günther Steiner in a statement from the racing team. He added:
“Ferrari wanted to give Antonio some driving time in an actual Formula 1 car on a race weekend and we were of course happy to help.”
In 2017, he said, there had been a “similar situation” with Giovinazzi, Ferrari and Haas. Now the US team is looking forward to the “experience” the driver has gained since then.
With the announcement that Giovinazzi will be driving in two practice sessions, Haas is also sending a signal to its current regular driver Mick Schumacher but the rumour is the German Ferrari junior has already been earmarked for a seat at the French Alpine team as Ferrari seek to move their driver on from the US Haas team.
The 23-year-old’s contract expires at the end of the year and, according to team boss Günther Steiner, his continued employment depends above all on whether he can score more points in the second half of the season.
Giovinazzi himself said he was delighted to “get the chance to drive in an official Formula 1 session again”.
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