Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN Antonio Giovinazzi will join the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship for Season 8 with Dragon Penske Autosport, the Italian driver announced on Tuesday through social media.
Following the official confirmation by Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN that the team will not retain Antonio Giovinazzi for 2022 - signing Formula 2 title contender Guanyu Zhou instead - the Italian driver broke the news announcing he will be racing in Formula E next year.
The 27-year-old will join American team Dragon Penske Autosport, partnering Brazilian driver Sergio Sette Camara for the eighth season of the all-electric world championship, set to begin next January with the Diriyah E-Prix, held in Saudi Arabia.
“It’s going to be thrilling, it’s going to be challenging, it’s going to be electrifying!” he wrote on his social media channels.
LEAVING FORMULA ONE
The Formula One Hinwil-based team is the last in the grid to announce the driver’s lineup for the upcoming 2022 season, as the Italian seat was the only one left available.
In that regard, Frederic Vasseur, Team Principal Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN, commented: “Saying goodbye to a driver is never easy, especially so in the case of Antonio, who has been part of the team for so long.
“As we part ways, we will cherish the memories of the good times and learn lessons from the bad ones, knowing these moments all made us grow together as a team.
“We wish Antonio the best for his future after the 2021 season: before then, we still have three races to achieve some good results together and finish the year strongly.”
Furthermore, Formula 1 President and CEO Stefano Domenicali said: “I want to thank Antonio for being a brilliant ambassador for Formula 1 and Italy.
“He has done a great job, and I hope we will see him back on the F1 grid in the future. I wish him all the best and know he will do well in whatever he chooses to do.”
AN ITALIAN’S JOURNEY IN F1
The 2021 Formula One season still has three races before coming to an end, yet so far, Giovinazzi’s journey with the Swiss squad has seen him taking part in 59 Grand Prix, earning 19 points overall.
He joined the team as a full-time driver in 2019 - paired alongside 2007 F1 world champion Kimi Raikkonen, becoming the first Italian to compete at the pinnacle of motorsport since 2011. A season that also marked the return of Alfa Romeo to the series after a 30-year absence.
In a partnership with Sauber, the Italian manufacturer entered the championship with a revised red and white livery concept to celebrate the launch of Sauber Alfa Romeo Formula 1, later renamed Alfa Romeo ORLEN Racing.
During his first year as a Formula One driver, Giovinazzi finished tenth in the Austrian GP, becoming the first Italian to score points in F1 since Vitantonio Liuzzi (2010) with Force India.
Moreover, the Martina Franca native crossed the finished line in ninth place at his maiden home Grand Prix appearance in Monza.
Described by Alfa Romeo as “an incredible professional throughout his experience with the team, contributing to its growth and giving 100 percent both on and off the track,” Antonio adapted quickly to a fast-paced environment where pressure is part of the game.
In an interview conducted last year by Sports Pundit, he stressed: “I am competing against 19 of the best drivers in the world, so dealing with pressure is something I am used to. Every driver is only as good as his last race, so I am always trying to prove what I can do. It really fuels my competitive spirit.”
Adding: “I never wanted to be anything else, and I am thankful for the possibility to be living my dream every day.”
Click here to read the full interview.
From Karting to Formula E
In 2006 he lifted the Italian National Trophy 60cc in karting, and ten years later, he was battling for the GP2 (Formula 2) title against teammate Pierre Gasly - currently driving in F1 with AlphaTauri.
Despite losing the title at the last round in Abu Dhabi, he earned five victories in his rookie season, going strength from strength, moving past the obstacles on the road, never losing sight of his goal.
Ahead of the start of the 2017 season, he received a call from the Swiss team to step in for Pascal Wehrlein at the season opener in Australia, which represented his official debut in Formula One.
Wehrlein, currently a Formula E driver with TAG Heuer Porsche FE Team, had suffered an injury while participating at the Race of Champions (ROC), which would also rule him out from the Chinese Grand Prix that same year.
Next year, he would continue to fulfill his driving duties as a test and development driver with Scuderia Ferrari and Alfa Romeo Sauber, hitting the track in six Free Practice sessions.
After three consecutive years competing in the series, a new chapter begins to be written in the driver’s career as he joins the electrifying world of Formula E.
The first all-electric racing series promotes climate change awareness while bringing the best out of motorsport competition.
Next season alone, the world championship will feature a record 16 races in 12 cities around the globe.