Alfa Romeo has announced that Italian driver, Antonio Giovinazzi, will part ways with the team at the end of the season as they opt for an entirely new lineup for next year.
Months back, it was confirmed that Valtteri Bottas would be joining from the Mercedes team in 2022, replacing ex-world champion Kimi Raikkonen.
Since then, there has been much speculation as to who would fill the second seat – and although the team described Giovinazzi as a “popular driver with team personnel and fans alike”, December will mark the end of his Formula One career for now.
Speaking about the latest announcement, Team Principal, Fred Vasseur said: “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.
“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.”
Formula 1 President and CEO Stefano Domenicali added: “I want to thank Antonio for being a brilliant ambassador for Formula 1 and Italy. He has done a great job and I hope we will see him back on the F1 grid in the future. I wish him all the best and know he will do well in whatever he chooses to do.”
The 27-year-old took to Instagram to share a picture of him as a child in an F1 toy alongside an emotional tribute.
He wrote; “Formula one is emotion, talent, cars, risk, speed. But when money rules it can be ruthless.
“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 an F1 car, the last still has to be taken.”