GP2 star Antonio Giovinazzi has been confirmed as Scuderia Ferrari’s third driver for the 2017 season.
The 23-year-old Italian sampled the Ferrari simulator in early September, and he has looked set for a long term role ever since. He also had conversations with Mercedes about a DTM drive and future F1 involvement, but when he backed out of those it became clear that he had another option.
Giovinazzi is highly-rated, having finished second in the 2015 FIA Euro F3 series, and second again – in his rookie season – in GP2 this year, behind team mate Pierre Gasly.
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He is managed by the well-connected Enrico Zanarini, whose other clients have included former Ferrari drivers Eddie Irvine and Giancarlo Fisichella, and current Ferrari Driver Academy member Antonio Fuoco. Zanarini is also responsible for the team’s Kaspersky sponsorship.
Giovinazzi’s career has hitherto been backed by Ricardo Galael, father of GP2 racer Sean and the wealthy Kentucky Fried Chicken license holder for Malaysia, and who has been linked with a buyout of Manor. However, Giovinazzi split with the sponsor some weeks ago to go his own way.