Giovinazzi receives Friday F1 call up from Haas

Antonio Giovinazzi

Former Alfa Romeo Sauber driver Antonio Giovinazzi will perform Friday practice duties for Haas once Formula 1 returns from its summer break.

Giovinazzi will climb aboard the VF-22 at the Italian and United States Grands Prix, taking the place of Kevin Magnussen and Mick Schumacher on one occasion each.

However, the outings are not part of the ‘young driver’ obligation that teams must meet during the course of the season.

Introduced for 2022, teams must twice field a driver who “has not participated in more than two Championship races in their career,” during Free Practice 1 as per Formula 1’s Sporting Regulations.

Giovinazzi has 62 grands prix to his name, having raced full-time in F1 from 2019 until the end of last season.

He has since been competing in Formula E while performing reserve driver duties with Ferrari, with whom Haas has a technical relationship.

The 28-year-old has previously driven for Haas, completing seven Free Practice 1 outings in 2017.

“We’re happy to welcome Antonio Giovinazzi back to the team for the two FP1 outings,” commented Guenther Steiner, Team Principal of Haas.

“Ferrari were keen to give Antonio some seat time in a current-spec Formula 1 car on a race weekend and we were naturally happy to assist.

“We enjoyed a similar situation back in 2017 with Antonio and Ferrari – the clear difference between then and now is the experience he’ll have gained competing for the previous three seasons in Formula 1 and the feedback he’ll be able to give us in Italy and America.

“I’m looking forward to seeing Antonio again and having him back in the paddock with us.”

Giovinazzi added: “I’m so glad to have the chance to drive again in official F1 sessions.

“Besides simulator driving it is important to test a true car and I can’t wait to put my suit and helmet back on.

“It’ll be an opportunity to get confident with the new generation cars – it’s the best way to be ready if I were called as reserve driver.

“Driving on challenging and exciting tracks as Monza and COTA makes it even more thrilling.

“Thanks to Haas F1 Team and Scuderia Ferrari – I’m looking forward to giving my contribution to the team that counted on me already in 2017.”

A spokesperson for the team confirmed to that it planned to field a young driver at two events later in the season.

Formula 1 resumes this weekend with the Belgian Grand Prix, the first of a triple-header run that takes in the Dutch and Italian events.

The United States Grand Prix runs at the end of October, the fourth-last event of the season.

It would therefore make some sense that the Brazilian and Abu Dhabi rounds are being eyed by Haas for its young driver sessions.

The latter offers a low-impact proposition as the final race of the year, and the former given Brazilian Pietro Fittipaldi is the squad’s reserve driver and meets the ‘young driver’ criteria.