Getty Images

F1 2017 driver review: Antonio Giovinazzi

Leave a comment

Antonio Giovinazzi

Team: Sauber
Car No.: 36
Races: 2
Wins: 0
Podiums: 0
Best Finish: P12 (Australia)
Pole Positions: 0
Fastest Laps: 0
Points: 0
Championship Position: 22nd

Antonio Giovinazzi made his mark through 2016 by finishing as runner-up in the GP2 Series, leading to a reserve role with Ferrari and a place on its junior programme – but his Formula 1 debut still came about as a surprise.

After deputizing for the injured Pascal Wehrlein at Sauber in the opening pre-season test, Giovinazzi was benched again upon the German’s return for the second week of running in Barcelona, and only traveled to Australia to be on-hand as a precaution.

But when Wehrlein felt discomfort upon pushing the car at high speed in practice, Giovinazzi was drafted in for a shock F1 debut, entering qualifying with only an hour’s worth of practice running under his belt in the Sauber C36 car.

Giovinazzi put in a stellar display, though, nearly reaching Q2 – he would have had it not been for a mistake at the final corner – and enjoyed a solid race to finish an excellent 12th.

Giovinazzi was once again in action for the Chinese Grand Prix, but had a tougher weekend. A crash in qualifying was followed by a similar shunt in the race as he misjudged the damp conditions on the main straight, slamming his car into the wall.

It was a come-down for the Italian after such a strong debut, and proved to be his final start of the season as Wehrlein returned for Bahrain.

Despite Ferrari pushing for him to get a seat with Sauber for 2018, the team opted to keep Marcus Ericsson, leaving Giovinazzi to settle for a third driver role.

He may be waiting in the wings, but time is ticking for a chance to come along that would allow Giovinazzi to prove his quality.

INDYCAR: How to watch the Bommarito 500

Chris Jones / IndyCar
Leave a comment

The NTT IndyCar Series is racing just outside of St. Louis this weekend at World Wide Technology Raceway Gateway.

The last oval race of the season, tonight’s  Bommarito Auto Motive Group promises to bring plenty of high-speed, high-stakes racing action under the lights.

Series point leader Josef Newgarden will start tonight’s race from the pole position, with Sebastian Bourdais starting alongside him in row one.

By winning the pole, Newgarden gained an additional championship point, which extends his lead over Alexander Rossi to 36 points.

Rossi start’s tonight’s race from the 11th position after an uncharacteristically poor qualifying run for the No. 27 team, while Simon Pagenaud (third in the standings, 41 points behind) will start from the fourth position and Scott Dixon (fourth in the standings, 53 points behind) will start from eighth.

Here is today’s schedule:

(All times are Eastern)

Saturday 8/24, 4:20 p.m. ET, Indy Lights race, NBC Sports Gold 

Saturday 8/24, 8 p.m. ET, Bommarito Automotive Group 500, NBCSN and streaming live 

Follow Michael Eubanks on Twitter