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today is Dec 02, 2021

Antonio Giovinazzi said Formula 1 “can be ruthless” after Alfa Romeo confirmed he will leave the team at the end of the year.

The 27-year-old, who is in his third full season as an F1 driver, is being replaced in the team’s line-up by Guanyu Zhou.

“F1 is emotion, talent, cars, risk, speed,” Giovinazzi said on social media after the news was announced. “But when money rules it can be ruthless.”

Underneath a picture of him as a child in a toy racing car, he added: “I believe in the surprise of an unexpected result, of big or small victories achieved thanks to one’s commitment. If this was my first picture on a F1, the last still has to be taken.”

Alfa Romeo confirmed Giovinazzi’s departure shortly before announcing Zhou’s appointment. The team will have an entirely new driver line-up next year as Valtteri Bottas arrives in place of the retiring Kimi Raikkonen.

Giovinazzi has made all 59 of his grand prix starts to date with the team. He made his Formula 1 debut with the team in 2017, when it competed as Sauber, as a substitute for Pascal Wehrlein. He returned as a full-time driver from the beginning of the 2019 season.

“Saying goodbye to a driver is never easy, especially so in the case of Antonio, who has been part of the team for so long,” said team principal Frederic Vasseur.

“As we part ways, we will cherish the memories of the good times and learn lessons from the bad ones, knowing these moments all made us grow together as a team. We wish Antonio the best for his future after the 2021 season: before then, we still have three races to achieve some good results together and finish the year strongly.”

Giovinazzi’s departure leaves Italy without a representative on the F1 grid next year. F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali thanked Giovinazzi “for being a brilliant ambassador for Formula 1 and Italy.

“He has done a great job and I hope we will see him back on the F1 grid in the future. I wish him all the best and know he will do well in whatever he chooses to do.”

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