Alfa Romeo Formula 1 driver Antonio Giovinazzi says he is not concerned by the fact that Ferrari will have five of its juniors competing in Formula 2 this year.
Giovinazzi is entering his second full season with Alfa Romeo but has been affiliated with Ferrari since the end of 2016.
Ferrari has had an influencing factor over one of Alfa Romeo’s Formula 1 seats since forming close ties ahead of the 2018 campaign, with Charles Leclerc preceding Giovinazzi in the position.
Ferrari has finalised its Formula 1 line-up until at least 2023 after recruiting Carlos Sainz Jr. on a two-year deal to partner Leclerc.
The manufacturer has bolstered its Driver Academy in recent seasons and this year five of its juniors will be competing in Formula 1’s feeder series.
The most recent Formula 3 champions – Mick Schumacher and Robert Shwartzman – will line up at Prema, Marcus Armstrong at ART, Callum Ilott at UNI-Virtuosi and Giuliano Alesi at HWA Racelab.
Schumacher and Ilott were both handed Formula 1 test runs with Alfa Romeo last season.
“I always said there [has been] pressure on my career every year, because I got where I got with my sacrifice, hard work, and this year will be the same as last year or two years ago,” he told the F1 Nation podcast on the pressure from Ferrari’s junior roster.
“[If I] just do well I can continue on my way. I’ll just focus on my feeling or on my experience, work really hard, I have Kimi [Raikkonen] as a team-mate so I can still grow.
“Already last year I did a big step from the first part of the season to the second part.
“I need to just work again and try to grow up as a driver and do well and ensure I can stay in this world for a long period.”
Giovinazzi, who has sported a ponytail so far this year, added that he has made a hair-related deal with Alfa Romeo team boss Frederic Vasseur.
Vasseur famously took scissors to Giovinazzi’s locks after he scored his maiden point at last year’s Austrian Grand Prix – but a repeat will only happen with a much higher placing.
“All the hairdressers were closed so it was perfect as I like long hair,” joked Giovinazzi on the recent lockdown in Italy.
“I say I will cut it if I do a podium this year! So it’s like a bet with Fred, I’m sure he is pushing to cut my hair, but I love long hair, so I say if I do podium it is good for me, good for the team, I will cut my hair!
“Last year I lost my hair at the Red Bull Ring as I got my first point – so I said this year [it only happens] if I do a podium!”