Antonio Giovinazzi lauds Kimi Raikkonen's contribution to development

Kimi Raikkonen and Antonio Giovinazzi

Antonio Giovinazzi has hailed Kimi Raikkonen’s contribution to his and Alfa Romeo’s progress in 2019, though suggested his own performance levels have been made to look worse due to the Finn’s presence.

Giovinazzi stepped up to Formula 1 full-time in 2019 off the back of spending two years undertaking test/reserve roles with Ferrari, Haas and Sauber.

Giovinazzi entered 2019 with two grand prix starts under his belt, compared to almost 300 amassed by 2007 World Champion Raikkonen, who has been in the sport since 2001.

Giovinazzi and Raikkonen have been closely matched in qualifying this year but in races the 39-year-old has shaded his team-mate, scoring all but one of Alfa Romeo’s 32 points.

“You have positive things and negative things,” said Giovinazzi on being alongside Raikkonen.

“The positive thing is you can learn from him, watch his data, watch what he’s doing in meetings or on the track or whatever.

“You can learn how much is possible compared to a normal driver – he’s a World Champion driver so he’s like a target for you.

“From the other side of course he’s a World Champion driver and also in terms of the result he will be always there, he will never make a mistake, he has a lot of experience, he knows what to do.

“So sometimes my race pace can be less compared to Kimi, but just because he knows what he wants, knows what to do, he’s been there 20 years already.

“From my side I’m really happy to have Kimi because he’s a really fast driver, still really fast, with a lot of experience, if you ask him something he will reply to me.

“From race one to now I grew up a lot and I think this is also because of Kimi, because I’m watching him and everything.”

Giovinazzi added that observing Raikkonen’s approach both behind-the-scenes and on-track has facilitated his progress.

“From when he comes from Thursday to Sunday, how he prepares the weekend, he knows already what he wants,” said Giovinazzi.

“Before FP1, he knows [at] this track I need this [set-up], or I need this thing, he knows what he wants.

“From my side I have no experience and I try to be focused but I miss that part that makes a lot of difference.

“I was watching his onboard after a few races and I saw something I was not doing and now I am doing – so experience is the main thing [lacking] but I think it will come with races.”