Italian driver Antonio Giovinazzi will remain at Alfa Romeo for the 2020 season, the team confirmed on Sunday.
Giovinazzi joined Alfa Romeo at the start of the year and is at the tail end of his first full season in F1. Despite a slow start, a resurgence in form since the August summer break helped cement his claim for another year as Kimi Raikkonen’s teammate.
The news leaves Renault’s Nico Hulkenberg all but certain to be without an F1 drive next year as Alfa had appeared to be the last feasible option for 2020.
The press release confirming the news called Giovinazzi “mature, enthusiastic and talented” and praised his ability to adapt and improve to the pressure of F1 in what is effectively in his rookie season.
It added: “After scoring his first-ever Formula One points at the Austrian Grand Prix, Antonio has now established himself as a competitive driver, matching his experienced team-mate Kimi Räikkönen and challenging for points in several occasions, scoring in his home race in Monza and in Singapore.”
Team boss Frederic Vasseur said: “Antonio has done really well this year and I am extremely pleased to be able to confirm he will stay with Alfa Romeo Racing for 2020. The way he has integrated into the team and has consistently improved throughout his first full season in the sport are very promising and we cannot wait to unlock his full potential as we continue to work together.
“Antonio has emerged as a very quick driver, even alongside as tough a benchmark as Kimi, and we expect him to develop even further as his experience grows. His technical feedback, work ethics and positive approach will help us continue to push our team forward, and so will the consistency of an unchanged line-up for next season.”