© Getty Images

Antonio Giovinazzi to focus on Ferrari F1 reserve role in 2017

Leave a comment

Antonio Giovinazzi has confirmed that he will not commit to a full race program in 2017, instead preferring to focus on his reserve driver duties with Ferrari in Formula 1.

Giovinazzi finished second in his debut GP2 season last year, losing out in the title race to Red Bull junior Pierre Gasly at the last round of the season.

The Italian’s efforts led to him joining Ferrari as its reserve driver ahead of the 2017 season, enjoying his first F1 test in a 2015-spec car at Fiorano over the winter.

Despite testing a GP2 car at the end of last year for Arden, Giovinazzi confirmed to reporters in Barcelona this week that he had no racing plans in 2017.

“No, not really. For now I am third driver, I will do a lot in the simulator,” Giovinazzi explained.

“I will follow the race weekend in F1, and then we’ll see what happens.

“It will be more tough than all the years I did in my career, to be in the paddock will be quite different, less adrenaline.

“But it’s F1, it’s quite a difficult car, especially with all the function in the steering wheel so the simulator is also really good to learn this thing and to be ready when they want to put me in a car.”

Giovinazzi got his first taste of current-year machinery earlier this week when he tested for Sauber, stepping in for the injured Pascal Wehrlein for two days of the collective F1 running.

“[It was a] really special day, first time in an F1 official test is a big thing for me. Last year I was in GP2, and to have this opportunity is great for me,” he said.

“I just need to work really hard and of course I need to say thanks to Ferrari for giving me this opportunity and to Sauber F1 Team. So it’s really special for me to be here and important as well. To be in the car is something really important for a driver.”

Hamilton, Red Bull teammates both go to NASA before USGP

Photo: Red Bull Content Pool
Leave a comment

One of the more intriguing United States Grand Prix adventures occurred on Wednesday, as both Lewis Hamilton and the pair of Red Bull Racing teammates, Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen, all went to NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston – in separate sessions – before heading onto Austin.

Hamilton posted on his Instagram story on Wednesday that he’d “quit his day job in a second” to work at NASA and become an astronaut, and the unbridled enthusiasm spoke to the three-time Formula 1 World Champion’s love of different life aspects entirely outside of racing.

“(I) had an incredible day yesterday, having a bit of a comedown today,” Hamilton said today at the FIA Press Conference. “I was just buzzed all day yesterday because it’s always been something I’ve wanted to do. It’s always something I’ve been fascinated about, space and space travel particularly.

“So to actually go there… and I had a million questions. I’m sure the guy got fed up with me. I asked a lot of questions and I got to see a lot of great things, some of the new technology they are working on and yeah, I want to go back.”

The Mercedes AMG Petronas team posted a gallery of Hamilton’s adventure on its website, linked here, and a few samples are below.

As for the Red Bull pair, the young duo of Ricciardo and Verstappen were equally awestruck by the experience.

“There really are a lot of similarities between this and F1, just the technology alone,” Ricciardo said. “I had a guest come to a race last year, when they got into the garage they were like: ‘this is like a space station’. We went to mission control here and it’s really like what we have in the Ops Room in Milton Keynes. Even the safety technology is similar. The astronauts go through the same measurements, a similar kind of HANS device etc. It’s really cool.”

Verstappen added, “There are quite a lot of comparisons, if you really want to talk about it we could go on for an hour! The control center looks pretty similar to ours. We share a lot of the same technology. It was really interesting for us to see that and I bet it would be the same if they could see ours.”

Here’s a link to Red Bull’s gallery and some teaser shots below.