Antonio Giovinazzi says rumours linking a Ferrari junior driver to his seat were “part of the game” in the wake of confirmation of his 2021 Alfa Romeo position.
Ferrari has an influence over one seat at Alfa Romeo and for the last two years it has been occupied by Giovinazzi.
Giovinazzi has been linked with Ferrari for four years, joining the team after finishing runner-up in GP2, and officially holds the role of its reserve driver.
Ferrari-backed youngsters Mick Schumacher and Callum Ilott currently hold first and second in the Formula 2 standings with only the Bahrain double-header left to run.
Both have previously carried out test days with Alfa Romeo and Schumacher was slated to participate in FP1 at the Nürburgring before bad weather intervened.
But on Friday Alfa Romeo confirmed that Giovinazzi will stay on for a third full season alongside veteran Kimi Raikkonen.
“You know it’s a part of the game, I would say, especially Formula1, but in sport in general to be always under pressure from young drivers coming in F2,” said Giovinazzi.
“But like I say many times if you are doing well, [and] the speed is there, and the result is there, you can stay in F1 also without big sponsorship or without a big name.
“I’m really happy and proud to still be part of this team, which to me means a lot as it is the team I did my debut with back in 2017.
“It’s my third year with this team, I know most of the people, and I’m looking forward to working with them for next season.”
Giovinazzi and Raikkonen are tied 6-6 in the qualifying head-to-head battle while the Italian has scored three points to the two gathered by his team-mate.
Alfa Romeo is set for eighth place in the Constructors’ Championship for a third successive season.