Antonio Giovinazzi says money makes Formula 1 “ruthless” after being replaced at Alfa Romeo by Guanyu Zhou.
After weeks of speculation that saw an announcement delayed by the potential takeover by Andretti that would have seen Colton Herta join the team, Alfa Romeo confirmed Zhou on Tuesday morning, with the Formula 2 title contender becoming the first Chinese driver to secure a race seat. In turn that means Giovinazzi is replaced after three years with the team, and alongside a picture of him as a toddler sitting in a replica Ferrari, the Italian suggested the decision was solely about money.
“F1 is emotion, talent, cars, risk, speed,” Giovinazzi wrote. “But when money rules it can be ruthless. I hope to change my mind about this soon. I believe in the surprise of an unexpected result, of big or small victories achieved thanks to one’s commitment. If this was my first picture on a F1, the last still has to be taken.”
In a later post, Giovinazzi thanked the team for their time together, having scored a total of 19 points in the last three seasons, with 14 of those coming in his rookie year.
“Unfortunately, we often struggle to find the right words to show our gratitude towards someone,” he added. “But I think there is nothing more beautiful than being able to say thank you.
“Thanks for everything Alfa Romeo and to those team members at Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN who have supported me all these wonderful years.
“The biggest thank you is for my fans, who have always been close to me and who have made me feel their affection on every occasion.”
Alfa Romeo announced Giovinazzi’s departure in a separate release before confirming Zhou’s arrival, with team principal Fred Vasseur saying both parties will have learned a lot from the last three years.
“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,” Vasseur said. “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.”