Fresh from his first Formula 1 top 10 finish in the Austrian Grand Prix, Antonio Giovinazzi said that he never felt any real pressure to score his first Formula 1 point – other than constantly being asked about it.
Alfa Romeo started the season strongly, with Kimi Raikkonen scoring points in each of the first four races, but Giovinazzi failed to back up his teammate despite finishing on each occasion. In Austria, the Italian rookie finally got on the scoreboard when he crossed the line directly behind Raikkonen in 10th.
“Yeah, finally a first point of the season,” Giovinazzi said. “Really happy with two cars in the top 10. I think McLaren so far is stronger than us. At Silverstone we have a new upgrade, and I hope we go in the right way like we went in Paul Ricard, we can do another step and be close to (McLaren).
“I think the pressure was more coming from you guys (the media)! Every race weekend was ‘when will you score the first point’, and finally we got this. I was relaxed because the performance was improving race by race. Now we finally got this point, and now we need to keep working hard and be there each weekend.”
Although Giovinazzi appeared quicker than Raikkonen in the closing stages and Carlos Sainz had suffered a damaged front wing in eighth, the two Alfa Romeo drivers did not swap positions. But the 25-year-old insists he was comfortable with the team’s decision.
“I think it was a really close race, and in the end I’m really happy with the result we got, and to give pressure to Kimi. But the positives of the weekend are two cars Q3, two cars top 10. Really happy.
“It was not a really good start and I lost already the two positions with Sebastian (Vettel) and Pierre (Gasly), but I think after that it was a smooth and good race. I think I was consistent.”