Antonio Giovinazzi has apologized to his Sauber team after crashing out of Formula 1 qualifying for the Chinese Grand Prix on Saturday in Shanghai.
Giovinazzi made his F1 debut two weeks ago in Australia as a last-minute replacement for Pascal Wehrlein, who continued to struggle for fitness following his Race of Champions crash in January.
The Italian was one of the stand-out performers in Melbourne, almost reaching Q2 and finishing 12th in his first race for Sauber.
Giovinazzi was drafted in to replace Wehrlein again for this weekend’s race in China, and looked set to ease through to Q2 in qualifying before crashing out at the final corner, running wide at exit before careering sideways across the track and into the wall.
The shunt brought out yellow flags and ruined a number of drivers’ late qualifying laps, allowing Giovinazzi to make it through to Q2. While he could take no part in the session, Giovinazzi still qualified 15th.
“For me it was a disappointing ending to qualifying. It was all good until the last corner of my final lap,” Giovinazzi said.
“I was already in Q2 and improving my lap time, but I pushed a bit too much, touched the grass in the exit of the last corner and then lost the rear of the car.
“I apologize to the team for what happened. Tomorrow I will do my best to put in a good performance.”
The Chinese Grand Prix is live on NBCSN and the NBC Sports app from 1am ET on Sunday.