Giovinazzi 'could have pushed harder' in F1 début

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Sauber stand-in Antonio Giovinazzi says he regrets not being bolder in his maiden Formula 1 Grand Prix appearance

"I thought I'd take it easy because I didn't want to take another pit stop," he explained after the Australian Grand Prix.

"I took it really easy, just to understand the tyres and understand the car," he said. "This was the target for me, just to understand the car more and have the experience from the tyres and the car."

Giovinazzi explained that his experience racing in GP2 had made him wary about overusing the tyres early on in the race, which would have compromised his race strategy.

"GP2 car is quite different with the [degradation] in the tyres, it's a little bit worse than Formula 1," he suggested.

"For this I was taking it easier in the beginning of the run. In GP2 it was possible to only do seven or eight laps with supersofts and then you need to box."

Giovinazzi was dropped into the race seat without warning when Pascal Wehrlein withdrew on Saturday. He went on to finish the race in 12th place ahead of McLaren's Stoffel Vandoorne.

"To be on top of the rookie drivers, with the preparation I had before - which was nothing – I think was a pretty good weekend," he said.

"It was a good race, and I am happy with my performance.

"My objective was to gain more experience and collect mileage in the car," he concluded. "It was an amazing race weekend for me."

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