Monza was a home event for Alfa Romeo Racing, with the Italian marque celebrating with a special livery featuring the Tricolore.
And there was plenty of history to celebrate. Alfa Romeo Formula 1’s first race winner and world champion care of Giuseppe Farina.
69 years later and another Italian was in the hot seat. Antonio Giovinazzi, the 25-year-old from Martina Franca proud to be the first full-time Italian driver since Jarno Trulli and Vitantonio Liuzzi in 2011.
SOUNDBITE (English) ANTONIO GIOVINAZZI,
F1 DRIVER, ALFA ROMEO RACING:
“It’s really nice to have another Italian driver back after eight years, and of course it's really special…Italian driver with an Italian brand like Alfa Romeo.”
Alongside Giovinazzi, 2007 F1 World Champion Kimi Räikkönen, who was confident the Italian would get up to speed given his prior experience.
SOUNDBITE (English) KIMI RÄIKKÖNEN,
2007 F1 WORLD CHAMPION:
“Antonio [Giovinazzi] has done two races already, so he has a good idea of what’s happening. He’s been with Ferrari, and with this team doing practices [simulator], so he has a pretty good understanding on everything [we will do].”
So far Giovinazzi has outqualified Räikkönen just four times in the first 14 races, the Finn dominant over one lap and outraced him 11-2, when they could be compared, with three points on the board.
… with ninth at Monza far better than his last lap DNF in Belgium, where he ended up in the barriers at Pouhon.
Paddock rumour suggests that Giovinazzi will keep his seat for 2020, but for a long-term future in F1 the Italian must up his game in qualifying and the races and challenge the Iceman more.
And no place to start better than the next round in Singapore, where the drivers can make much more of a difference.