Alfa Romeo wants "improving" Giovinazzi to be a team leader

Filip Cleeren
·2-min read

Following a difficult debut season with Alfa Romeo in 2019, Ferrari-backed Giovinazzi showed a marked improvement during the 2020 season, outqualifying his vastly more experienced teammate Kimi Raikkonen by nine to eight and going on to score the same number of points as the Finn.

Due to a lack of competitiveness Raikkonen and Giovinazzi could only manage four points each as Alfa slumped to an eight-place finish in the constructors' championship, but Ferrari decided to give Giovinazzi a third season at Ferrari, opting to place rookie Mick Schumacher at Haas instead.

While it's far from certain 41-year-old Raikkonen will stay in the sport beyond the 2021 season, Alfa boss Vasseur has called on Giovinazzi to become more of a team leader in his third season and become a more consistent performer, saying the Italian should "take the lead on his own shoulders".

"I think the next step is to get more the consistency during the race," Vasseur told Motorsport.com. "But he's been doing a good step for a while that he is improving on every single topic.

"There's also probably to keep a little bit the lead of the team on his own shoulders, to be able to assume some decisions. But we are on these paths and he is improving race after race. And I'm quite confident for next year."

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Vasseur is also impressed with the gains the 27-year-old Italian has been able to make in his sophomore year.

"If you have a look last year, he scored one third of Kimi's points and he was six times in front of Kimi in qualifying," the Frenchman explained.

"Now they are matching each other, they have the same level of points, the same level of performance in qualifying."

Giovinazzi told Motorsport.com that was "really happy with the work that I did in this season", in particular his focus on improving his race starts, which helped him gain valuable positions on the first lap of several races.