F1 Veteran Antonio Giovinazzi to Run Practice Sessions with Haas

·2 min read
Photo credit: Ciancaphoto Studio - Getty Images
Photo credit: Ciancaphoto Studio - Getty Images

Ferrari reserve driver Antonio Giovinazzi is slated to participate in a couple of practice sessions with Haas during the second half of the Formula 1 season.

Giovinazzi, 28, will drive Haas’ VF-22 during the opening practice sessions at Grands Prix in Italy (September 9) and Austin, Texas in the United States (October 21). Haas team officials have outlined that regular racers Kevin Magnussen and Mick Schumacher will each be benched for one practice session apiece when Giovinazzi drives.

Magnussen holds a multi-year deal with Haas but Ferrari-supported Schumacher does not have a contract beyond the end of 2022.

Photo credit: Mondadori Portfolio - Getty Images
Photo credit: Mondadori Portfolio - Getty Images

Giovinazzi has been Ferrari’s reserve driver since 2017 and spent three years in Formula 1 (2019-21) racing for Alfa Romeo. He previously participated in seven practice sessions with Haas in 2017. Ferrari has been Haas’ power unit supplier since the American team debuted in 2016 and the minnow outfit has a design office within its campus at Maranello, Italy.

Giovinazzi, who recently completed a disappointing Formula E season with backmarker Dragon/Penske Autosport, has not driven a Formula 1 car since last December’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

“Ferrari were keen to give Antonio some seat time in a current-spec Formula 1 car on a race weekend and we were naturally happy to assist,” said Haas team principal Guenther Steiner. “We enjoyed a similar situation back in 2017 with Antonio and Ferrari—the clear difference between then and now is the experience he’ll have gained competing for the previous three seasons in Formula 1 and the feedback he’ll be able to give us in Italy and America.

“I’m looking forward to seeing Antonio again and having him back in the paddock with us.”

Giovinazzi has started 62 races in Formula 1 since 2017, most recently with Alfa Romeo in 2021. He does not satisfy the new-for-2022 regulation concerning each team having to run a rookie driver for at least two practice sessions this season.

It means Haas will still have to run an inexperienced driver—most likely its reserve driver Pietro Fittipaldi—at two further practice sessions across the seven other Grands Prix remaining in 2022.