The pair will team up at Sauber next year. Giovinazzi, who has worked with Raikkonen in his Ferrari development role, believes Raikkonen will “be the best team mate” for him.
“He has a lot of experience, if you ask something to him he will for sure help me. I would say his is the best team mate to start my F1 career [with]. I can’t wait also to race beside a world champion so it’s something really good.”
Giovinazzi has high expectations of what he and the team can achieve with Raikkonen in 2019.
“I think the team is working really good, the people they are really motivated. Also next year there will be Kimi with a lot of experience and I think also his name can help also the team to give 110% to improve the car and do a fantastic job.”
Raikkonen said he wasn’t considering next year, when asked about Sauber’s choice of team mate for 2019. “I’ve not really any thoughts,” he told reporters yesterday.
“Obviously we try to finish this year as well as we can and then see what happens next year. It doesn’t make any difference to me. We’ll see.”
Giovinazzi will be the first Italian driver to contest a full season since 2011. “I’m really happy for the Italian fans that they can have another Italian driver back after so much time,” he said.
“Of course they have already Ferrari what is a big Italian brand but to have an Italian driver it was something normal for F1 and I can’t wait to put that flag next year in Melbourne.”
Sauber has made significant progress with its car since Giovinazzi last drove it, he said. “It’s two months from the Hungaroring [test]. I would say the car was a lot better everywhere.
“It was the same jump I felt from the rookie test in Barcelona to Hungaroring and I felt another jump here just overall grip from the car so I was really happy also for this.”
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