Kimi Räikkönen and Antonio Giovinazzi have been confirmed as drivers with the Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN team for the 2021 season, the renewal was announced ahead of the 2020 Imola Grand Prix where the drivers’ C39 race car will feature a celebratory livery created by the Alfa Romeo Centro Stile
The first Italian driver in eight years to serve as a stable presence behind the wheel of a Formula One car, Antonio Giovinazzi has been instrumental in the development of the Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN team. His progress and performance during his first two seasons have been both significant and consistent. This season, Antonio has produced many solid performances, establishing himself as one of the best starters, with several positions gained in every race.
The team has always supported the Italian ace, and for Alfa Romeo to witness his steady rise while aiming for bigger and better results is a source of great pride. The bond between Italian drivers and Alfa Romeo has been the source of motorsport legend ever since it won the inaugural season of Formula One in 1950 with Nino Farina driving an Alfa Romeo Gran Premio Type 158 “Alfetta”.
Antonio Giovinazzi: “Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN has been my home in Formula One for the last two seasons and I am happy this relationship can continue for one more year. The team has put a lot of faith in me and I have done my best to repay this confidence with hard work and commitment: we have achieved some good results and I feel we have done my part to make the team progress, but the road ahead is still long and there is much more we want to achieve together. There will be a lot of continuity between this season and the next one, so everything we work on between now and the end of the year will already count for next, and we are ready to give it all we have.”
Mike Manley, CEO FCA: “We are excited to announce the renewal of Antonio Giovinazzi’s contract with Alfa Romeo Racing in the year of Alfa Romeo’s 110th anniversary. His passion and commitment really embody the brand’s values. With his solid performances, Antonio has played a crucial role in maintaining fans’ enthusiasm and has contributed to make the Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN team a fine ambassador for the tradition of European technical excellence and Italian spirit. Following the extension of Antonio’s contract, we expect to continue making progress, both technically and on the track, to add new chapters to Alfa Romeo’s long and glorious history in Formula One.”
The most experienced driver in the history of Formula One, Kimi Räikkönen, will continue to bring his incredible mix of skill and technical knowledge to the team for which, when it was competing as Sauber F1 team, he made his F1 debut in 2001. The 41-year-old Finn, World Champion in 2007, has demonstrated time and time again his commitment to the sport.
One of the most popular drivers in Formula One, with a loyal following spanning the breadth of the globe, Kimi does most of his talking on track – but also within the engineering office, where his technical feedback and impressive sensitivity have been a valuable contribution to the team over the last two seasons.
Kimi Räikkönen: “Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN is more than a team to me, it is like a second family. So many of the faces that were around me when I made my Formula One debut in 2001 are still here and the unique atmosphere of this team is what gives me that extra motivation to keep going in what will be my 19th season in the sport, next year. I wouldn’t be here if I didn’t believe in the team’s project and in what we feel we can achieve together. This is a team that values hard work over words and this fits well with my style: I am looking forward to next year and hopefully making some steps forward towards the front of the midfield with the team.”
This announcement highlights the team’s commitment to continuity, with Kimi and Antonio making up a solid and well-matched driver line-up that delivers a healthy mix of experience and youthful enthusiasm. With the renewal of the drivers’ contracts, the Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN team lays the foundations for the 2021 season and will be able to continue focusing on performance.
Frédéric Vasseur, Team Principal Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN and CEO Sauber Motorsport AG: “I am very pleased for the team to continue working with Kimi and Antonio for another season. Kimi is a driver who needs no introduction: his talent has been clear to everyone since 2001 and I still see the passion and motivation in him every time I see him at work. He can be trusted to deliver 100% of what the car can produce and he is a true leader for the people working around him. Antonio finished last year’s campaign strongly and he picked up where he left off and kept improving throughout 2020. From the track to the engineering briefings, Antonio has played a crucial role for our team and he has thoroughly deserved a new contract for 2021. His work ethic, commitment to the team and contagious enthusiasm are a huge asset for Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN.”
Exclusive livery for Imola
The announcement of the contract renewals comes ahead of the 2020 Imola Grand Prix, a proud venue for Alfa Romeo and Italian motorsport tradition alike, where the Alfa Romeo team will display an exclusive livery on the C39 race car.
Designed by Centro Stile, the livery will display the Italian flag in a straight flash on the upper section of the engine cover and on the rear wing end plate, blending into the theme of the 2020 “speed pixel” livery with its linear and dynamic graphic treatment.
The exclusive logo for the 110th anniversary of Alfa Romeo appears in a prominent position, also on the engine cover, alongside the wording “Welcome back, Imola”, recognising the circuit as one of the greatest Italian tracks. From Touring and Sport categories to Formula One, Imola has been a venue for major Alfa Romeo victories in all three categories.