Sauber hands Giovinazzi FP1 outing at Hockenheim

Antonio Giovinazzi (ITA) Ferrari Development Driver.
© XPB 

Sauber's test and reserve driver Antonio Giovinazzi will be in action at Hockenheim on Friday morning.

The Swiss squad has given the Ferrari Formula 1 junior his first race weekend outing of the season in the initial free practice session for the German Grand Prix.

His most recent time in the car was in the in-season test at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya that followed the Spanish Grand Prix in May, where he also tested with Ferrari. The 24-year-old Italian previously had seven practice outings with the Haas team in 2017.

He made his F1 début for Sauber at the start of 2017 in place of the injured Pascal Wehrlein. His most recent race outing was at Le Mans in the Ferrari factory-backed #52 AF Corse team.

Giovinazzi will be sitting in for Marcus Ericsson, who will have to watch the session from the Sauber pit wall instead. However the Swede was unconcerned by the lost of track time, stressing that he knows Hockenheim well.

"Hockenheim is a track that I have driven many times, in Formula 1 as well as in GP2 and Formula 3 when I was younger," he said.

"It is a nice track. The biggest challenge is the last sector which can make or break your lap," he said. "It is important to have good speed in the straights and work your way through the hairpins in the first half of the lap well."

Ericsson scored points for only the second time this year in Austria, but then crashed out of the British Grand Prix a week later. He's hoping to put that blip behind him and get straight back into the top ten in Germany.

"I look forward to bouncing back and fighting for good results again at Hockenheim," he pledged. "As a team, we see a good trend in our performance, having been more and more competitive with each race weekend.

"There are usually a lot of Swedish fans attending this Grand Prix," he added. "I hope to see many of them again this year - their support is always great!"

Although still in his rookie season in Formula 1, Ericsson's team mate Charles Leclerc is also very familiar with the Hockenheim circuit.

"The Hockenheimring is a circuit that I know well, especially from my time in Formula 3," the 20-year-old explained.

I really look forward to going back there. It is great to have the German Grand Prix back on the calendar.

"It is quite a technical track, with an impressive stadium that is usually filled with many spectators.

"Hopefully we can build on the progress we have made in the last few races, and keep fighting for points.”

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