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  • Writer's pictureAnna Krejčí

Antonio Giovinazzi: Winning Le Mans with Ferrari was a beautiful day in my career

An exclusive interview with Antonio Giovinazzi made during the 6 hours of Monza.

After leaving Formula 1, Antonio Giovinazzi raced with Dragon Penske in Formula E for one season, failing to score points in the entire season. After an unsuccessful year outside of F1 he got called up to race for Ferrari in the World Endurance Championship. With the Ferrari 499P Hypercar, Ferraris first entry in the top Le Mans category in 50 years, he, James Calado and Alessandro Pier Guidi won the Le Mans centenary. Now, Giovinazzi is getting ready for the 6 hours of Monza.

Before entering the World Endurance Championship with Ferrari, Antonio Giovinazzi drove three seasons in F1. "It is a completely different car with less power but the approach and driving style is very similar," Giovinazzi said, "the main difference is the traffic and the strategy since you have to share the car with other drivers."

"It's the first time I am driving with more people in one car but I really like it. You can share the emotions, the good ones and the bad ones and you are not alone. When we won in Le Mans, I drove the car but I wasn't the one to cross the finish line. That's something that never happened to me before but it's a nice feeling."

At the beginning of June, Giovinazzi and his teammates, James Calado and Alessandro Pier Guidi, won the 24 hours of Le Mans with Ferrari. "In the last three years I had a pretty bad luck, but I knew it was going to turn. I think it turned at the right time, winning Le Mans with Ferrari was a beautiful day in my career. It was one of the best victories in my life."

"It was very hard mentally. It is not only the 24 hours, it starts a week before. From the official test, the parade, the meetings it was a full week filled with emotions and ups and downs. When you finish the race you feel how the adrenaline comes down, I was destroyed, but for a good reason. When the car crossed the line, all the sacrifices and bad moments finally came together. Our names will now be in the history of motorsport and Ferrari."

Despite racing in WEC, Antonio is still an official reserve driver for Ferrari in Formula 1: "After Le Mans I went to the Canadian Grand Prix and I realized what I actually did. From the first mechanic in Williams to the last mechanic in Red Bull, they saw the race and congratulated me. It was so nice to see."

Ferrari #51 is now second in the championship standings. "Le Mans put us back into the championship. Of course we know Toyota will be very strong, in FP1 we saw that Porsche, Cadillac and Peugeot are also up there, but for us, having more competitors could push us and help us get more points, so we will see. I hope we can take this fight until the last race in Bahrain," Giovinazzi commented on the championship before the race in Monza.

After the Italian finishes his first season in WEC, the Monza circuit will be replaced by Imola. "It will be my first time here with WEC. Monza is very special to me, always filled with Tifosi and it's a historic track but Imola is the same. I honestly don't know, for me, racing in Italy is already very emotional. Monza is Monza, Imola is Imola, I like both of them. When I have the experience with both, I'll let you know," Giovinazzi responded with a laugh after being asked which track he prefers.

"It's not going to be easy here in Monza, it's six hours, but it is something that I like about this championship. In F1 you would have a race without an overtake, but here you have to overtake five or six cars every lap, so you have to be always focused, which is quite enjoyable."

After the 6 hours of Monza, Giovinazzi has only two races left in the World Endurance Championship; 6 hours of Fuji and 8 hours of Bahrain.



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