Antonio Giovinazzi reveals his motor-racing idol's name
There's always something exciting and promising about young Formula 1 drivers getting up through the ranks of the world's most expensive sport.
At this point in time, all eyes and ears are fixated upon young Charles Leclerc, Ferrari's pilot for the 2019 season. Lando Norris joining McLaren, alongside Carlos Sainz Jr. is a move that's being viewed with fervent optimism.
But are these the only young drivers that are worth talking about? Or could there be other interesting talents that are doing their earnest bit but hitherto, go unnoticed in mainstream media?
25-year-old Italian racing driver Antonio Giovinazzi is all set to embrace Formula 1 entirely, having held reserve driver stints previously.
Chosen by Ferrari to be their third, and reserve driver for 2017, Giovinazzi, who recently celebrated his birthday, shot to attention by emerging as the runner-up at the 2015 FIA Formula 3 Championship and emerging second in the 2016 GP2 series.
But it was his efforts in the latter of the aforementioned series where thanks to 5 wins and 8 podiums, he really catapulted to greater attention.
Driving in F1 is an opportunity he's waited for all his life.
Although he has had two races for Sauber back in the 2017 Formula 1 season wherein he'd manage a P12 and a DNF respectively, he was out of action, owing to the role being a reserve driver for Haas in the next season.
In 2019, he's one among the two drivers for Alpha Romeo Sauber F1 team, the Swiss team confirming earlier this year that the Italian driver would race alongside the oldest man on the grid, Kimi Raikkonen, whose move from Ferrari to Sauber made a lot of headlines.
In the light of the above, it can be said with some enthusiasm that among the youngsters on the grid- Leclerc, Gasly, Max, Norris, Sainz, Stroll- Giovinazzi too warrants some attention.
Recently, he garnered attention when, in a friendly chat, he revealed the one driver who's inspired him. So this brings us to the question, do we know who is Antonio Giovinazzi's favorite driver, rather his racing idol?
How often does it happen that the person you are inspired by the most also happens to be your teammate?
Where it comes to the talented Italian, all set to drive for the 2019 Sauber F1 team, it's Kimi Raikkonen.
Can you believe that?
Sharing that he has had a lot of respect for Raikkonen, his idol, the fact that, "We are now teammates," is a thrill for Giovinazzi.
Not shying away from lavishing praise on the 'Iceman', Giovinazzi shared with unfettered enthusiasm that Raikkonen's achievements in scarlet, left an impression on him and that he was able to outscore and often, outpace Hamilton and Alonso, two legends of the sport, inspired him.
He has also quoted the following:
"I remember that he won the title with Ferrari," Giovinazzi told Motorsport. "I was a little boy back then, I never thought I would ever share the same pit box with him."